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Clinical Pharmacist’s most popular research articles of 2018

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person holding iPad with CP research article photo displayed

Source: Alamy and TEK Image / Science Photo Library

With over 170,000 unique page views in 2018, online access to peer-reviewed research content published in Clinical Pharmacist grew by more than 47% compared with 2017.

This year, articles exploring pharmacy’s role in antimicrobial stewardship, as well as original research articles on integrated pharmacy services and medicines optimisation in care homes, feature among the most popular. Contributions from globally renowned key opinion leaders continue to highlight the global focus and reach of the journal.

It is not surprising that, following the announcement in March 2018 by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) regarding the change to licensing rules for valproate, the most-read research article this year was a review examining antiepileptic drug safety in pregnancy, which was published in 2016.

The top five most popular articles published in 2018 were:

1. Community pharmacists’ contribution to public health: assessing the global evidence base

Community pharmacies are more accessible to the general population than general practices, and government white papers and briefing documents from pharmacy professional bodies have advocated the expansion of the role of community pharmacists, particularly in relation to the provision of services that contribute to disease prevention and health improvement. It is unknown whether the same evidence exists globally for the expansion of these roles.

This review article attempts to appraise and summarise the global evidence for the public health roles that community pharmacists play. Barriers, as well as strategies that can enhance these roles, are also discussed.

2. Pharmacy’s role in antimicrobial resistance and stewardship

In the UK, antimicrobial pharmacists play an essential role in antimicrobial stewardship (AMS); their role is well established and recognised, particularly in secondary and tertiary care. However, pharmacy professionals across all sectors can significantly contribute to AMS through a number of activities, such as providing clinical advice, developing guidelines and delivering education and training to other healthcare professionals and the public.

This review article aims to provide a better understanding of the range of pharmacy skills and activities undertaken as part of AMS by reviewing the published evidence-base, and explores the opportunities where pharmacy can increase its impact in AMS across all settings and scopes of practice.

3. Impact of an integrated pharmacy service on hospital admission costs

Northumberland was chosen as one of the national vanguard sites in early 2015, in response to the Five Year Forward View initiative. This Perspective article described the evolution of the integrated pharmacy service, which included pharmacists and technicians working in both hospital and primary care settings, and based in geographical hubs. Each team is part of a wider enhanced care team and operates across organisational boundaries and in collaboration with other healthcare professionals. It also describes the results of the integration using a sustainable model of care, including the improvements in patient care, harm reduction and increased efficiencies achieved.

4. Improving medicines optimisation for care home residents: Wigan Borough CCG’s approach

Research has suggested that inappropriate prescribing may occur in 50–90% of older people living in care homes in the UK.

The model described in this research article, developed by Wigan Borough CCG, supports care home staff as well as prescribers; focusing on improving processes within the care home, as well as individual reviews for residents. This approach has improved medicines optimisation over and above medicines review, allowing a more holistic approach.

The author demonstrates how the support provided to care home staff to improve the safe use of medicines contributed to an improvement in CQC ratings for the homes supported as well as the wider impact this work has had on patient outcomes.

5. Glucose-lowering drugs and cardiovascular risk: how recent outcome trials have informed practice

Although large clinical trials with glucose-lowering drugs have consistently shown beneficial reductions in microvascular complications, their effects on macrovascular complications have been controversial. Interpreting these trials is complicated by substantial differences in their design, the populations studied and data analysis. This review article examines how the trials have evolved and how they impact the use of glucose-lowering agents in the routine care of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Access the full catalogue of articles published in the research section.

Call for submissions

In 2019, Clinical Pharmacist aims to continue adding to the pharmacy evidence base and is now calling for article submissions to showcase current and best practice in the area of polypharmacy and medicines optimisation. I hope that you will respond to this call and submit your work to us.

Feedback on the journal and our coverage is always welcome — please email me on Michael.Dowdall@rpharms.com or send me a tweet @michael_dowdall

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