A survey of healthcare professionals and patients with cystic fibrosis reveals problems in prescribing and accessing medications


According to a brief communication published in Thorax, accessing medication is a problem for patients with cystic fibrosis, affecting their emotional and physical health.

The analysis included 317 patients with cystic fibrosis and 256 primary care doctors and community pharmacists who responded to an online survey. Both quantitative (single answer) and qualitative (free text) questions were incorporated. A final questionnaire about where medications should be accessed was answered by 40 patients with cystic fibrosis.

The results show that 76% of patients had difficulties accessing medications. Six themes were identified as reasons, including short duration of medication dispensed, the perceived futility of primary care medication reviews, delay in accessing acute medication, difficulties in accessing continuous supply or repeat prescription medication, primary care prescribing errors, and poor communication between care service and user.

On the healthcare side, 55% of community pharmacists reported difficulties obtaining medication. Primary care doctors reported lacking confidence when prescribing cystic fibrosis specialist medication (16%) and being asked to prescribe medication that should be prescribed by secondary care (50%).

These findings reveal the high treatment burden caused by difficulties in accessing medication, highlighting the need for targeted quality improvement plans. 

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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