Abstract

Aims: To assess the importance of compounding training in today’s pharmacy education in Singapore, this study examined the perception of final year National University of Singapore (NUS) pharmacy undergraduates on compounding training in pharmacy education and their awareness of compounding services in Singapore in relation to compounding pharmacists’ perception, practice and role of pharmacy compounding in Singapore.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out between November 2013 and January 2014. It comprised of a questionnaire survey conducted on 134 final year pharmacy undergraduates, and face-to-face interviews conducted on 7 retail compounding pharmacists. Questionnaire responses were analysed using descriptive statistics, while the interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed by thematic coding.

Results: Less than 40% of final year pharmacy undergraduates were aware of compounding activities and compounding pharmacies in Singapore. Nonetheless, majority agreed that compounding should be included in the pharmacy curriculum (83.6%) as it is an important part of pharmacy education (78.3%) and pharmacy profession (61.2%). All the interviewed compounding pharmacists felt that compounding in pharmacy education has provided them with the basics to build on knowledge and skills at work. Compounded medications were also viewed as necessary by 71.4% of the pharmacists in fulfilling the needs of certain patient populations.

Conclusion: Compounding training is necessary in pharmacy education. Pharmacy compounding has evolved from its traditional role into a professional speciality of customizing medications to meet different patient needs today. Hence, knowledge and skills in pharmacy compounding remain a relevant foundation for practising pharmacists to enhance pharmaceutical care at work.

Keywords:      Pharmacy compounding; Pharmacy education; Pharmacy students; Compounding pharmacists; Perceptions; Survey

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