This study aimed to investigate community pharmacists’ knowledge and certainty of adverse effects and contraindications of pharmaceutical products to estimate the risk of error. Factors influencing their knowledge and certainty were also investigated.
The knowledge of community pharmacists was assessed in a cross-sectional design using a multiple-choice questions test on the adverse effects and contraindications of active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipients from May 2014 to March 2015. Self-rated certainty scores were also recorded for each question. Knowledge and certainty scores were combined to estimate the risk of error.
Out of 315 subjects, 129 community pharmacists (41.0%) completed the 30 multiple-choice questions test on active ingredients and excipients. Knowledge on active ingredients was associated with the year of graduation and obtaining a licence to practice pharmacy. Knowledge on excipients was associated with the degree obtained. There was higher risk of error in items on excipients than those on ingredients (P<0.01).
The knowledge of community pharmacists in Palestine was insufficient with high risk of errors. Knowledge of community pharmacists on the safety issues of active ingredients and excipients need to be improved.