The pharmacist's role in HIV care in France
In France, antiretroviral treatment (ARV) can be dispensed by hospitals and/or community pharmacies. A recent study published in Pharmacology Research & Perspectives examined the pharmacist's role in HIV care in this country.
For the study, 2 national surveys were sent. The first was an anonymous questionnaire for people living with HIV, and the second was an online survey for community and hospital pharmacies. A total of 1,137 people living with HIV and 246 pharmacies responded.
The surveys pertained to medication interviews with pharmacists during ARV dispensing, where patients could receive explanations about efficacy and tolerance, recommendations for proper use of their medication, and advice about any drug interactions. The surveys also pertained to online patient medication files. When these files are offered by pharmacists and accepted by patients covered by health insurance, they can be used to record all the drugs dispensed during the previous four months. A patient's file thus constitutes a tool for coordinating prescriptions, generating advice, and identifying precautions in the use of different medications.
While the existence of the online medication file was known by 58% of people living with HIV, only 40% of pharmacists declared it to be systematically offered. It was offered to 17% of people living with HIV, and 80% of those people accepted it. Only 7% of people living with HIV felt well taken care of because they were offered medication interviews, but 32% said they would like to take advantage of this program. The results suggest the need for better implementation of medication files and interviews.