Since 2006, UMED has been catering to the continuing medical education needs of the pharmacists in the country. In their continuous effort to provide relevant information for our pharmacists, they conducted a one-day workshop this year at the Bayanihan Center of Unilab with the topic “Optimum Health Outcomes Through Medication Safety”.
UMED’s Executive Director Dr. Elizabeth Martinez welcomed some 70 pharmacists, practicing in different fields. After which, the Philippine Pharmacists Association (PPhA) President Leonila Ocampo gave her message to all the participants. She gave a brief background on how the collaboration of UMED and PPhA started. She commended UMED with their continuous efforts on making new modules for the pharmacists in partnership with PPhA. She also mentioned that the day’s activity was focused on discussions to lessen medication errors.
Topics on pharmacy were comprehensive and the session was divided into 4 modules. The first module, “Review of Basic Pharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics”, was tackled by Marilyn Tiu. Portal circulation, first pass effect and the different routes of administration were discussed. How intravenous administration of drugs is much more readily available in the system were reviewed. Participants were also reintroduced on how to compute for the half-life of the drugs. From introduction of the drugs in the system to drug excretion, she made sure that she discussed the important points.
The next module, “Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery System” was presented by Dr. Yolanda Robles. She first mentioned that as pharmacists, they already have an advantage because they know the drug itself aside from knowing how the drug affects the body. She then gave a review on what a dosage form is. A dosage form is defined as the physical form of the final pharmaceutical formulation which contains a dose of medication. The amount of excipients is increased if the active ingredient is more unstable. A review on the different common excipients and their main use were presented in a table.
There are drugs that are available in more than one dosage form. However, there is a downside to this with regards to medication safety because different dosage forms require different processes of releasing the drug. Dr. Robles also emphasized generic equivalence. She said that a generic equivalent drug must have the same dosage form, same drug strength and same generic drug. She reminded the pharmacists that generic switching should neither be permitted nor recommended unless otherwise approved by the physician. She made a run through of the different dosage forms that are available from oral preparations to topical dosage forms.
Dr. Robles emphasized that it is the healthcare professionals’ responsibility to educate and give instructions to the patients on the proper use of the drug delivery system or the device so that they get the most out of their medication. This is important in reducing medication errors.
Participants were treated to a one-hour break. During this time, they were made to enjoy their lunch and to clear and ready their minds for the afternoon session.
Leonila Ocampo started the afternoon session with the discussion of the third module, “Pharmaceutical & Clinical Calculations”. She pointed out that dosage calculations are one of the most common medication errors. Reduction in errors, like this, will optimize the effects of the drug that is given to the patient to ensure drug safety. Different ways of expressing the drug concentration were reviewed. She pointed out that the quantities of the active ingredient and the total amount must always be in the same unit of measure. She also said that use of grams and millilitres are preferred.
Normita Leyesa discussed the fourth and the last module, “Clinical Pharmacy”. She mentioned and reiterated the important knowledge and skills that clinical pharmacists need to be able to deliver quality patient care. Knowledge on drug therapy, disease, and laboratory and diagnostic tests and skills on drug information, therapeutic planning and patient monitoring are required.
After finishing all the modules, the participants were then divided into small groups. They were asked to discuss a number of cases per group. They were given one hour and thirty minutes to discuss everything. After the allotted time, they returned to the hall for the plenary discussion. Dr. Yolanda Robles, Marilyn Tiu, Leonila Ocampo and Normita Leyesa acted as the facilitators.
During the plenary discussion, a representative from each group was chosen to present their group’s case study. From time to time, the facilitators gave pointers and explained further the cases.
Once again, UMED proved to be an expert in conducting continuing medical education for our healthcare providers.
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