A practical approach toward teaching ethics to community pharmacists
Background Pharmacists as highly qualified professionals face ethical dilemmas and conflicts in their daily practice. These issues manifest themselves in the daily practice of pharmacists, which require pharmacists to have the competencies to manage these dilemmas but there is limited formal training in ethical decision making during undergraduate pharmacy education. Objective To describe the implementation and evaluation of a methodological approach to managing ethical dilemma workshop for community pharmacists in Malaysia. Setting Community pharmacists in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Method During the workshop, pharmacists were provided insights into how they could use and apply a methodological approach towards managing a dilemma, followed by a case study and panel discussion. All participants were invited to complete a pre- and post-workshop questionnaire Main outcome measure Number and proportion of respondents answering questions related to practice of ethics and workshop effectiveness Results A total of 37 participants attended the workshop. Most of the participants reported that they had no formal training in professional ethics and often used their own approach to solve an ethical issue. Some of the most common issues mentioned include changing medication to generic. More than three quarter of participants agreed and strongly agreed the content was relevant to their job and they will be able to use what they learned in the program. Conclusion The evidence suggests that a module in ethical decision making should be introduced to community pharmacists in Malaysia. This module can be easily adapted for use in other countries and will help ensure that pharmacist can make a good professional judgement and deliver the deeds of beneficence to all their patients.
KeywordsCommunity pharmacists Ethics Malaysia Training Workshop
We wish to thank all the participants and colleagues at the School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia as well as individuals at Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society for their support and help.
This work was supported by Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change (Grant Number 2110531-120-00), in support of organizations for projects related to medical education. The Grant was awarded to Monash University Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. to address educational needs of the community pharmacists.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
- 4.Appelbe GE, Wingfield J. Dale and Appelbe’s pharmacy law and ethics. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2005.Google Scholar
- 5.International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). Pharmacist ethics and professional autonomy: imperatives for keeping pharmacy aligned with the public interest. Bangkok: International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP); 2014.Google Scholar
- 6.Hudson SA, McAnaw JJ, Johnson BJ. The changing roles of pharmacists in society. IeJSME. 2007;1(1):22–34.Google Scholar
- 9.Lee SWH, Bell SJ. Pharmaceutical care in Asia. In: da Costa FA, van Mil JWF, Alvarez-Risco A, editors. The pharmacist guide to implementing pharmaceutical care. 1st ed. Basel: Springer; 2018.Google Scholar
- 10.Malaysian Laws on Poisons and Sale of Drugs: Poisons Act 1952; 2000. Retrieved from https://www.pharmacy.gov.my/v2/sites/default/files/document-upload/poisons-act-1952-act-366.pdf on 20 July 2018.
- 11.Pharmacy Board Malaysia. Code of conduct for pharmacists and bodies corporate. Putrajaya: Ministry of Health Malaysia; 2009. Retrieved from https://www.pharmacy.gov.my/v2/sites/default/files/document-upload/code-conduct-pharmacists-and-bodies-corporate-pharmacy-board-malaysia-1.pdf.
- 15.Gregory PAM, Austin Z. Conflict in community pharmacy practice: the experience of pharmacists, technicians and assistants. Can Pharm J Rev Des Pharm Can. 2016;150(1):32–41.Google Scholar