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01.12.2017 | Research Article | Ausgabe 6/2017

International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy 6/2017

How prepared are pharmacists to support atrial fibrillation patients in adhering to newly prescribed oral anticoagulants?

International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy > Ausgabe 6/2017
Nadya Hamedi, Filipa Alves da Costa, Robert Horne, Michael Levitan, Amanda Begley, Sotiris Antoniou
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11096-017-0529-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Background The New Medicines Service (NMS) was implemented in the United Kingdom in 2011 and first evaluated in 2014, showing 10% increase on adherence. Objective To assess community pharmacists’ current practice, knowledge and confidence in supporting patients’ adherence as part of the NMS for patients on Oral Anti-Coagulants (OACs) for stroke prevention in Atrial Fibrillation. Setting Community pharmacists in London. Method An online cross-sectional survey was sent to pharmacists from their Local Pharmaceutical Committees and advertised by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Analysis was undertaken in SPSs v23 considering a confidence level of 95%. Main outcome measures pharmacists reported confidence of providing the NMS on OACs; training needs and skills for supporting adherence. Results A total of 257 valid responses were analysed (6.8% response rate; {Cronbach’s α = 0.676–0.892}). Data indicates that over a 2-month period, 25% of pharmacists had completed ≥6 NMS consultations for all OACs, of which 11% for new oral anticoagulants (NOACs). The key priorities in counselling items during the NMS consultation were to discuss actions to take when bleeding occurs, followed by supporting adherence. Pharmacists were more confident in their knowledge, skills and access to resources for Vitamin-K Antagonists (VKAs) than for NOACs (p < 0.005). Results also highlight pharmacists’ unfamiliarity with alert cards, lower for NOACs than VKAs (p < 0.001), albeit perceived as critically important. Half the sample mentioned to use the British National Formulary as information resource. Conclusion Results suggest the provision of NMS for NOACs is low. Supporting pharmacists with tailored education and adherence support might foster dissemination.

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