Earlier this year, we conducted some informal market research via investigative phone calls and visits to local pharmacies in search of incidence rates and clarification on new legislation affecting pharmacists’ ability to prescribe and administer injections.
Some interesting findings came from this informal research that we’ve paired with some quantitative data from a recent syndicated study on pharmacists prescribing, to provide our clients with some insights into this evolving area. One of the particular findings that came forth with regards to assessing sample feasibility was the importance of having a good understanding of the type of drug or vaccine being studied and the associated impact on pharmacy stocking.
Additionally, the incidence of pharmacists performing injections also played a role. According to a recent syndicated study on pharmacist prescribing*, the incidence of pharmacists performing injections can vary quite widely from one province to the next, wherein applicable legislation allows for it. For example, with respect to the administration of intramuscular vaccines the current incidence can be as high as nearly two thirds in BC and Alberta, while not quite one third in Ontario. Provinces wherein pharmacists are currently able to administer injections include: BC, Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick, while there is pending legislation in Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
According to one of the pharmacists interviewed during the informal research process, within Canadian jurisdictions that permit pharmacist injecting, pharmacists are schools trained on injecting in the last year of curriculum, which includes practicums. Meanwhile for those who graduated before the changes, a pharmacist can do a course and practicum to earn qualification (vaccines, etc). A further review of the practice guidelines in provinces wherein pharmacist injections are permitted also confirmed that training requirements do exist.
To summarize, despite seemingly high incidences of pharmacists injecting in provinces wherein the legislation is more established, it’s important to keep in mind that when assessing sample feasibility that there are still many pharmacies that do not inject. Furthermore, in provinces wherein legislation is more recent, expect lower levels of incidence as pharmacists seek to complete the necessary training requirements.
SmartPoint Research offers exclusive access to the HealthViews Market Research Panel; the largest of its kind in Canada and we regularly recruit for large pharmacist studies. If you have a pharmacist study coming up, please contact us for a free quotation and advice on feasible sample sizes.
*Source: Pharmacists’ Prescribing Study January 2013. MD Analytics Inc.