Evidence based information on drug use during pregnancy: a survey of community pharmacists in three countries

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ObjectiveTo evaluate whether community pharmacists provide evidence-based information to women inquiring about specific drug use during pregnancy.DesignA trained female student posing as a surrogate shopper requested information about the relative safety/risks of medications during pregnancy in two scenarios. Forty randomly selected pharmacies were surveyed in the Netherlands, Canada and Iceland, and pharmacists' recommendations were noted. Main outcome measures included the type of information that was provided, its presentation, and the source of information used.ResultsA relatively small proportion of pharmacists surveyed, provided evidence-based information regarding the drugs in question. Only 14% referred to current medical literature, while 60% consulted the product monograph. Over 90% of pharmacists referred the client to a physician.ConclusionsCommunity pharmacists do not disseminate evidence-based recommendations when counseling women on drug use in pregnancy, and need further education on resources concerning drugs in pregnancy that are currently available.

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