Research Article: Knowledge and awareness of nonpharmacist salespersons regarding over-the-counter drug use in patients with chronic kidney disease in Japan

Date Published: March 20, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Yuki Kondo, Yoichi Ishitsuka, Nobuhiro Kawabata, Nobuhide Iwamoto, Risa Takahashi, Yuki Narita, Daisuke Kadowaki, Sumio Hirata, Satoru Uchino, Tetsumi Irie, Vivekanand Jha.

http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0213763

Abstract

Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) depend on advice from healthcare professionals to avoid using unsuitable over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Recently, qualified, registered nonpharmacist salespersons became licensed to sell OTC drugs in Japan. However, registered salespersons’ knowledge and awareness of precautions regarding unsuitable OTC drugs for use in patients with CKD are unclear.

This study aimed to clarify the awareness, knowledge, and implementation of precautions by registered salespersons regarding OTC drugs used by patients with CKD. Additionally, we evaluated the change of registered salespersons’ knowledge and awareness of this topic generated by a pharmacist intervention.

A questionnaire survey and pharmacist intervention were applied to 175 registered salespersons. The intervention comprised a 50-minute lecture imparted by a pharmacist who was trained in nephrology. The knowledge, awareness, and implementation of precautions by participants with respect to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antacids were evaluated before and after the intervention.

Approximately half of the registered salespersons reported previous experience with selling OTC drugs that were inappropriate for patients with CKD (NSAIDs, 48.0%; antacids, 39.7%). Few participants recognized the need to check renal function when selling those drugs to such patients (NSAIDs, 25.7%; antacids, 47.5%). The registered salespersons’ awareness and knowledge were significantly higher after the intervention than before it.

The results indicate that before the intervention, the registered salespersons had low levels of awareness and knowledge regarding OTC drug use in patients with CKD despite having prior experience selling unsuitable OTC drugs. However, the pharmacist intervention improved the registered salespersons’ awareness and knowledge. The educational program for registered salespersons might be necessary to prevent inappropriate OTC drug use by patients with CKD.

Partial Text

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an important and common health problem, and its incidence is increasing worldwide. The estimated overall prevalence of CKD (glomerular filtration rate < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) in adults (aged ≥18 years) is increasing exponentially in Japan, particularly among the aging population [1]. Patients with CKD have a higher incidence of adverse drug events than patients without the disease [2–4]. Thus, it is necessary to pay close attention to medication use when treating patients with CKD, including the use of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. In this study, we showed that registered salespersons had low levels of awareness and knowledge regarding OTC drug use in patients with CKD. The pharmacist intervention increased the participants’ awareness of the need to check renal function when selling OTC drugs that should be used cautiously by this population. We investigated Japanese nonpharmacist salespersons’ awareness, knowledge, and implementation of precautions regarding OTC drug use in patients with CKD. Additionally, we evaluated the effects of a pharmacist intervention that was intended to improve registered salespersons’ knowledge and awareness of this topic. We found that before the intervention, registered salespersons had low awareness and knowledge about OTC drug use by patients with CKD. However, we also found that the pharmacist intervention improved both awareness and knowledge. We believe that continuing education programs for registered salespersons are necessary to prevent inappropriate OTC drug use by patients with CKD.   Source: http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0213763

 

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