Trends in drug information education in different first- professional degree pharmacy programmes in the Arabian Gulf region
Keywords:Arabian Gulf, Drug Information, Experiential Training, Pharmacy Education
Objectives: Pharmacists play an essential role in providing reliable drug information. This puts pressure on pharmacy schools to enhance teaching to prepare students who are competent in contemporary drug information activities. This study aimed to characterise trends in drug information education in countries of the Arabian Gulf.
Methods: All pharmacy schools in the Arabian Gulf region were identified from the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Official World List of Pharmacy Schools and included in this study. Deans of pharmacy schools, heads of pharmacy practice departments or course coordinators were identified via the schools’ websites and sent an electronic survey addressing drug information education (developed according to consensus-driven drug information education objectives).
Results: Twenty-four schools of pharmacy were identified for inclusion and contacted to participate in the study. Fifteen schools replied with a completed survey (response rate of 63%). Didactic drug information courses were provided in all of the schools surveyed, with more than half of those schools providing it in Year 4 of the programme. Experiential training was a required rotation in 57% of the schools surveyed. Less than half of drug information instructors in the region had completed any postgraduate training in drug information.
Conclusion: Drug information education in schools of pharmacy in countries of the Arabian Gulf is continuing to evolve. More emphasis has to be placed on transitioning teaching from the university to experiential rotations in order to complete the drug information learning cycle for students, from theory to practice
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