Publication date

Evaluation of guideline implementation for dispensing driving-impairing medicines by National Pharmacy Organizations.

Gier, H. de, Bogaard, L., Siu, V.F., Todorov, B., Sousa Pinto, G., Viegas, R., Aldarij, N., Dijk, L. van, Borgsteede, S.D. Evaluation of guideline implementation for dispensing driving-impairing medicines by National Pharmacy Organizations. Exploratory Research in Clinical and Social Pharmacy: 2024, 13, p. Art. nr. 100415.
Read online
In 2004, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) adopted a Statement of Professional Standard on the supply of medicines affecting driving performance, transformed to FIP guidelines in 2014. In 2011, the final report from the European initiative on Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol and Medicines (DRUID) was published. Both documents provided recommendations for improving dispensing guidelines for driving-impairing medicines for patients who use psychoactive medicines.

This study investigated the extent that European professional organizations of pharmacists (POPs) implemented existing guidelines and DRUID results.

An online questionnaire survey was conducted in April–May 2022. Questionnaires were sent by e-mail to POPs in 46 European countries. The questionnaire addressed the following topics: awareness of FIP guidelines and DRUID outcomes (a), development of dispensing guidelines (b), target groups for information materials (c), evaluations of dispensing practices (d) examples of projects on medicines affecting driving fitness (e), development of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) -support (f), collaboration with organizations of physicians (g) and patients (h). The data were analyzed by indicating implementation initiatives in different countries. Open-ended questions were assessed qualitatively.

POPs in 23 European countries responded to the invitation (response rate: 50%). Guidelines for improving dispensing practices were available in 5 countries targeted at professionals, patients, and the general population. Patient and physician organizations were involved in 4 and 3 countries, respectively. Implementation was supported by computerized dispensing systems (6 countries) and public campaigns (5 countries).

Twenty years after the introduction of FIP guidelines and ten years after the DRUID outcomes, only 5 European POPs have implemented this knowledge. Different activities were performed to support implementation, resulting in examples of successful use of recommendations for driving-impairing medicines in pharmacy practice. Implementation needs further attention. The successful practices that have been developed are an example for dissemination to other countries.