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An example of pharmacists engaged in research

We read with interest your editorial (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2016;297:128) and comment article by Sheri L Koshman (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2016;297:155) drawing attention to pharmacists’ poor level of engagement in research, regardless of practice setting. We would like to highlight a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in September 2016.

(N Engl J Med 2016; 375:1253–1260 29 September 2016 doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1608033).

The Salford Lung Study in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a 12-month, open-label effectiveness randomised controlled trial conducted in primary care.

The objective of the study was to compare the clinical effectiveness and safety of initiating once-daily fluticasone furoate/vilanterol (100/25µg) with usual care in a population of COPD patients intended to represent those seen in everyday clinical practice. 

A total of 2,802 patients with COPD were included in the study. Each of these patients, in both the study and control arms, had their medicine dispensed by one of the 130 community pharmacies recruited into the study. 

Essential to the success of the study (under the leadership of the pharmacy steering group) was the development of processes, such as data transfer and the pharmacy standard operating procedure, followed by every single pharmacy involved.

The design of the study was such that the involvement of community pharmacy was a crucial element. This study is an example of collaboration and community pharmacy’s contribution in a large multi disciplinary study.

Linda Stephens

Chair of the pharmacy steering group for the Salford Lung Study and European pharmacy adviser for GSK

Pharmacy steering group members

Gerry Haydock, PCT Healthcare

Keith Kendall, Boots

Varun Jairath, Springfield Pharmacy

Rachel MacDonald, PCT Healthcare

Jane Devenish, Well Pharmacy

Sarah Buchan, Rowland’s Pharmacy

Mubasher Ali, Boots

Jodie Freeborn, LloydsPharmacy

Steven Green, Boots

Penny Chapman-Mair, Cohen’s Pharmacy

The Salford Lung Study programme encompasses two studies, HZC115151 (NCT01551758) and HZA115150 (NCT01706198) and is sponsored by GSK.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201969

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