Factors influencing community pharmacy personnel participation in pharmacovigilance: a case of Embu county, Kenya.
The Kenyan Pharmacovigilance program was officially launched in June 2009 and Kenya joined the WHO programme in 2010 as the 98th member. Community pharmacy personnel are considered drug experts and play a major role in contributing to pharmacovigilance data as they may be the first or final point of contact for patients seeking medication. The personnel therefore need to participate in the spontaneous reporting system. The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors influencing community pharmacy personnel participation in pharmacovigilance in Embu County. The objectives of the study were to establish how training of the personnel dispensing medicines influences community pharmacy personnel participation in pharmacovigilance, to examine how the workload of the dispenser influences community pharmacy personnel participation in pharmacovigilance, to determine how the influx of counterfeits in the pharmaceutical supply chain influences community pharmacy personnel participation in pharmacovigilance and to determine how pharmaceutical care influences community pharmacy personnel participation in pharmacovigilance. A descriptive study design was adopted for this study to assess the attitudes, knowledge and practices of community pharmacy personnel towards participation in pharmacovigilance. The target population was 55 pharmaceutical technologists, 5 pharmacists and one Pharmacy and Poisons Board Inspector. A census was adopted since the sample size of community pharmacy personnel was relatively small. There are only 60 registered community pharmacies located in Embu County. Two sets of questionnaires were used to obtain the necessary data from the respondents. The data collected was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences and presented in form of tables and percentages. The study revealed that all the factors investigated had an influence on community pharmacy personnel participation in pharmacovigilance due to the under reporting to PPB. Training on pharmacovigilance had been undertaken by a minority of the personnel and reporting Adverse Events and poor quality drugs had been done by very few. A small number of the personnel were aware of the e-shot system was and only one had subscribed to it. Therefore the level of reporting and awareness was low. The workload of the dispenser contributes to dispensing errors and majority of the personnel agreed with this statement. Very few of the personnel had attended trainings on workload management and more than half of them held CPD forums once a year to discuss dispensing errors. The influx of counterfeits in the pharmaceutical supply chain should ideally increase the number of poor quality drug reports sent to PPB. However only half of the respondents encountered counterfeit drugs but very few had reported to them PPB. Only a small number of the personnel had received training on identification of counterfeits. The pharmaceutical care concepts were known by majority of the respondents and a significant number of them had designated consultation rooms. The study recommended that stake holders in the pharmaceutical sector should include pharmacovigilance and pharmaceutical care as core disciplines in Pharmacy education and as policies. Other recommendations included use of educational interventions, communication mechanisms and setting up of county pharmacovigilance centres by PPB to include community pharmacy personnel in the pharmacovigilance framework. The study gave areas for further study to be conducted in other counties to establish other factors that influence community pharmacy personnel in pharmacovigilance.