Int J Pharm Pract. 2022 Feb 28:riac005. doi: 10.1093/ijpp/riac005. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: Medicinal cannabis was introduced with limited understanding of effect, and minimal rigorous evidence supporting efficacy, yet the global demand for medicinal cannabis continues to increase. In Australia, pharmacists remain a key conduit between the prescriber and patient, as most medicinal cannabis products are available only through approved prescriptions. This places pharmacists in a strong position to inform the evolving policy and practice of medicinal cannabis. This review aims to explore pharmacists’ experiences and perceptions on medicinal cannabis in the global context by conducting a narrative review with a systematic approach.
METHOD: MEDLINE (Ovid), EMBASE, and PubMed were searched on July 2021 using keywords and MeSH terms, with studies independently screened for eligibility. Of 278 identified studies, five met inclusion criteria, and were subjected to thematic synthesis for emergent themes.
KEY FINDINGS: Whilst pharmacists valued being central to medicinal cannabis access, a repeating theme was that pharmacists perceived they were underprepared when engaging with patients about medicinal cannabis. These perceptions were congruent with their dispensing experiences, as most pharmacists reported patients seeking guidance on medicinal cannabis from them, yet only a small proportion felt comfortable in providing this guidance. Underpinning this was a lack of knowledge and low uptake of educational resources.
CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacists are key in providing access to medicinal cannabis, yet they are expected to provide guidance with limited education. These limitations necessitate further investment in ongoing education to pharmacists in countries wishing to involve them in dispensing medicinal cannabis.
Source: ncbi 2