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Drug samples in family medicine teaching units: a cross-sectional descriptive study: Part 3: availability and use of drug samples in Quebec.

Lussier, Marie-Thérèse; Diallo, Fatoumata Binta; Pluye, Pierre; Grad, Roland; Lessard, Andréa; Rhéaume, Caroline; Labrecque, Michel.
Can Fam Physician; 64(12): e546-e552, 2018 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | Dez 2018 | ID: mdl-30541821
Resumo: OBJECTIVE: To draw a portrait of drug sample distribution and to assess the concordance between drug samples distributed and the medical problems encountered in the ambulatory primary health care setting. DESIGN: Descriptive cross-sectional survey. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all health care professionals (HCPs) in family medicine teaching units (FMTUs) that kept drug samples between February and December 2013. Dispensers were defined as HCPs reporting the use of drug samples. Concurrently, an inventory log sheet was completed by managers of drug samples to document the contents of sample cabinets. Data from the Canadian Disease and Therapeutic Index were used as the criterion standard to assess the consistency between the drug samples found in the cabinets and the profile of the most frequent health problems encountered in primary care. SETTING: All 33 FMTUs that kept drug samples in Quebec. PARTICIPANTS: Health care professionals authorized to hand out drug samples (practising physicians, residents, pharmacists, and nurses), and managers of drug sample cabinets. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Dispensing practices of HCPs; number of doses of each drug contained in the sample cabinets; total market value of the samples; concordance between the drug sample categories made available and the most common medical problems encountered in primary care; and data on safe handling, ethical issues, effect of the pharmaceutical industry on prescribing behaviour, and inventory of samples. RESULTS: Among 859 HCPs, 579 (67%) reported dispensing drug samples. A large proportion of dispensers (88%) were unable to find the specific drug they sought and half of them (51%) provided the patients with a drug sample even if it was not their first choice for treatment. The drug sample cabinet inventory revealed products from 292 different companies and identified a total of 382 363 medication doses for a total value of $201 872. We found gaps among types of drugs provided to patients, those the HCPs would consider useful, and those available in the cabinets. CONCLUSION: Drug samples available in FMTUs do not meet the needs of many patients and HCPs, suggesting that the main driving force for drug sample distribution is not patient care. Policies on drug samples in FMTUs should be uniform across the province, and management should be as strict as in community pharmacies. Otherwise, prohibiting their use should be considered.