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Browsing by master's degree program "Utbildningsprogrammet för provisorsexamen"

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  • Viinamäki, Emilia (2023)
    Alpha-beta-hydrolase domain containing proteins (ABHD) are involved in lipid metabolism and its regulation in human and animal cells. Approximately 50 of these proteins have been identified and their physiological and pathophysiological functions are still further investigated. ABHD2, ABHD3, ABHD4, ABHD5, ABHD6, ABHD12 and ABHD16 are involved in the metabolism of glycerin esters and phospholipids, in particular lipid mediator 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and its metabolites have a significant effect on neuroinflammation via the endocannabinoid system. ABHD12 and ABHD16A were at the center of focus in this thesis as enzymes regulating phosphatidylserine and pro-inflammatory lysophosphatidylserine. In this study, toxicity of five (5) abietane terpene derivatives was tested using mouse E15/16 prenatal cortical neurons, cultured in 96-well plates. There were totally 8 plates cultured in three different batches, 60 cell containing wells per each plate. Wells from each plate were divided into treatment groups of 17, three concentrations of every five compound, control and VEH groups. Those concentrations were 0,1 µM, 1 µM and 10 µM, and for the last two plates 1 µM, 10 µM and 100 µM. Treatment was also separated into three batches like the cell culturing. After treatment, number of living cortical neurons in each treatment groups were counted. For that, cells were treated with immunofluorescent NeuN and DAPI antigens and the fluorescence was imagined with automated microscope. CellProfiler was used to recognize and count the number of living cortical neurons. Immunofluorescent MAP2 antigens were also used but because the shape of MAP2-fluorescing cells, CellProfiler could not recognize them. Intensity of MAP2-fluorescence were measured from those imaged, so the work would not be wasted. One-way ordinary variance analyze ANOVA was carried out for the data to figure out if there were statistically significant results. For compound TAC174, there were several significant results with different concentrations but unfortunately, some results showed signs of toxicity and others improved cell-growth. Some significant results were also found with compounds TAC121, TAC147 and TAD40 showing sings of toxicity, but reliability of those results was questioned. Only one compound, TAC150 was not showing clear toxicity towards mouse cortical neurons, at least with lower concentrations. For conclusion, there were no clear or significant results if these compounds are toxic for cortical neurons. TAC150 showed the least sings of toxicity, therefore it could possibly be considered for further studies in medical field.
  • Antelo, Lauri (2023)
    African medicinal plants have been used to treat symptoms of infection successfully for thousands of years. However, no antimicrobial drugs have been developed from these plants. As antibiotic resistance is increasing rapidly, these traditional African herbal medicines can be an important solution in the fight against antibiotic resistance due to their antimicrobial properties. In this research, various extracts o the leaves of Combretum adenogonium (Combretaceae) and the fruits of Piper cubeba (Piperaceae) and Xylopia aethiopica (Annonaceae) were tested for their growth inhibitory effects against Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. Extracts were made with methanol, water, hexane, and chloroform. In addition, water and ethyl acetate extracts were separated from an 80 % methanol extract using solvent partition. All the studied plants are used for the treatment of infections and wounds in African traditional medicine. Water was used as extraction solvent since it is commonly used in African folk medicine. Both single solvent technique and sequential extraction were used. The antibacterial effects were screened using agar diffusion and microdilution methods. The interaction between an extract and an antibiotic was measured with a checkerboard method. Time-kill experiments were performed using microdilution and plate count methods. In this study, the chloroform extract of C. adenogonium leaves gave the best inhibitory effect of all studied plants against B. cereus (MIC 78.125 µg/ml). In general, B. cereus was the most susceptible of the selected bacteria against extracts and E. coli was the one with most resistance. Time-kill test showed that the antibacterial efficacy was fairly stable throughout the 24-hour period considered with few exceptions. According to checkerboard results, C. adenogonium chloroform extract and tetracycline appeared to inhibit each other's antibacterial activity against B. cereus. However, only one extract was studied in this study, and it is possible that C. adenogonium contains compounds that would have a potentiating effect on antimicrobials. In general, C. adenogonium extracts were effective against B. cereus. The extracts of P. Cubeba were particularly effective against S. aureus. X aethiopica extracts were equally effective for both B. cereus and S. aureus. Methanol extract X. aethiopica is the only extract studied that gave more than 90% inhibition against P. aeruginosa. Therefore, it could be concluded that X. aethiopica has the broadest activity range of the examined plants.
  • Toivonen, Laura (2021)
    Abstract Faculty: Faculty of Pharmacy Degree programme: Master of Science in Pharmacy Study track: Social pharmacy Author: Laura Toivonen Title: Deficiencies and risks related to medication use management in nursing homes identified by Regional State Administrative Agencies during their inspection visits Level: Master´s thesis Month and year: November 2021 Number of pages: 94+7 (appendice) Keywords: Medication safety, medication use process, nursing home, older adult, risk management, guidelines for safe medication practices Supervisor or supervisors: M.Sc. Pharm, PhD student Suvi Hakoinen, University of Helsinki, Keusote; Professor, PhD Marja Airaksinen, University of Helsinki Where deposited: Additional information: Abstract: Nursing home residents are often characterized by older age, multimorbidity and polypharmacy. Medication safety has become an issue as part of client/patient safety in nursing homes in Finland. Still, little is known about medication safety risks and their management in this care context. The aim of this study was to identify deficiencies and risks associated with medication use management in nursing homes using inspection visits by the Regional State Administrative Agencies (AVIs) as a data source. In addition, the aim was to evaluate what issues the AVI-authorities pay attention to in the medication use management during their inspection visits in nursing homes. The data consisted of the latest inspection reports (n = 24) prepared by the Regional State Administrative Agencies (n = 6) on the basis of their nursing home visits (nursing homes for older people). The data were analysed by deductive content analysis methods. In addition to qualitative documentary analysis, quantitative indicators were used to illustrate the frequency of the risks and deficiencies -observed in different phases in the medication use process to identify phases posing risks most commonly. Reason´s system-based risk management theory was applied as a theoretical framework for the study. A total of 372 deficiencies and risks related to medication use process were identified from the inspection reports (n = 24) of Regional State Administrative Agencies. The largest proportion (58,9 %, n = 219) of the deficiencies and risks concerned the management and quality management of the medication use process. Particularly, deficiencies and risks related to lack and competence of personnel were emphasized. Deficiencies and risks were also identified in the self- assessment guidelines for safe medication practices used in the inspected nursing homes. The second highest number of risk observations (26,9 %, n = 100) was reported for ordering, delivery and storage of medicines. In particular, the deficiencies and risks were reported for the storage and warehousing practices. Reported risk observations in other phases of the medicines use process were rare. This study showed that the medication use process in Finnish nursing homes includes deficiencies and risks endangering the safety of the older nursing home residents. In order to manage the risks, both self-assessment and inspection practices by the authorities need development. One way to improve and harmonize both self-assessment and inspection practices could be use of a comprehensive checklist covering of all the relevant issues required for the safe medication practices in nursing homes. Increasing collaboration with pharmacists could also be a way to improve medication safety in nursing homes.
  • Pykälämäki, Matias (2023)
    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the death of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons and formation of intraneuronal protein aggregates called Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. These inclusions consist of a protein called α-synuclein (aSyn) but also of other proteins, lipids and cell organelles. Progressive cell death leads to nonmotor and motor symptoms. Current therapies for PD are symptomatic and do not modify the disease progression. Therefore, there is a need for the development of therapies attenuating the neurodegeneration. The pre-formed fibrils (PFF) model enables studying of aSyn aggregation and mechanisms behind inclusion formation. The PFF model is based on the exogenous aSyn fibrils’ tendency to result in formation of Lewy body -like inclusions when added in cell culture or in animals. Primary neuronal cultures of mice and rats have typically been used to model aSyn aggregation in vitro with the PFF model. Primary neuronal cultures provide practicality and are able to depict relevant features of dopaminergic neurons. To gain insight about the composition of E13.5 primary embryonic mouse midbrain culture and to enable adaptation of an existing protocol to study other cell types, this study identified and quantified several relevant cellular phenotypes in the micro island culture. The cells were fixed on day in vitro (DIV) 8 or DIV 22 and analysis was conducted using fluorescent immunocytochemistry combined with automated image analysis software, CellProfiler. On DIV 8, tyrosine hydroxylase -positive dopaminergic neurons represented 5 % of the total cells in the culture. Neuronal nuclear antigen -positive neurons resulted representing 30 % of the total cells. Gabaergic neurons were identified to be abundant in the culture and certain dopaminergic neurons were identified as immunoreactive for GABA. Choline acetyltransferase -positive cholinergic neurons were also identified to be present in the culture. The number of oligodendrocyte precursors (OPCs) was observed to be significantly smaller than the number of dopaminergic neurons. OPCs represented around 1 % of the culture on DIV 8. Glutaminergic neurons, parvalbumin-positive interneurons, microglia or astrocytes were not identified in the culture on DIV 8. The number of astrocytes was observed to increase as the incubation time was prolonged to DIV 22. Overall these findings provide valuable insights of the composition of cell phenotypes in E13.5 mouse midbrain culture. The results also provide additional validation for suitability of the original protocol to robustly produce midbrain dopaminergic cultures with minimal number of glial cells. Understanding more about the relevance and interplay of different cell phenotypes in PD pathophysiology can provide valuable insight for the development of potential therapeutic strategies.
  • Leinoluoto, Otto (2023)
    Diseases of the posterior eye segment, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema and glaucoma are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Current therapy to treat these vision-threatening diseases relies on intravitreal injections to maintain a desired therapeutic drug concentration in the back of the eye. Frequent intravitreal injections are uncomfortable with poor patient compliance and causes major burden to the healthcare systems as well as to the patients. Small molecule drugs have shorter half-life in the vitreous and are eliminated rapidly. This requires frequent intravitreal dosing intervals that are not feasible in the clinical settings. Also, intravitreally injected small molecule drugs are often poorly and non-specifically distributed to the ocular tissues causing adverse effects. To address these issues, controlled and sustained drug delivery systems in the form of drug conjugates are desirable. Conjugating small molecule drugs with enzymatically cleavable peptide linkers increases the residence time in the vitreous. The peptide linker gets cleaved by vitreal enzyme and the released drug reaches the target in retina and choroid. Aim of this thesis was to screen a library of 25 peptide linkers for cleavage in the presence of porcine vitreal enzymes. The peptide linkers were chemically synthesized and the in vitro stability of the peptide linkers were studied in freshly isolated porcine vitreous. Ten time point samples were collected over a period of 45 days and the peptide cleavage in porcine vitreous was assessed by LC-MS method. A TQ-S liquid chromatography-mass spectrometer was used to study the linker cleavage. LC-MS method development for the peptide library was carried out using IntelliStart wizard function. Out of the 25 peptide linker in the library, stability of eight linkers were not included in the LC-MS analysis as a mass method could not be developed. Out of 17 peptide linkers studied, 14 were categorized as fast cleaving linkers (>90% of the linker cleaved in porcine vitreous after 5 h). Three linker peptides; P4, P5 and P25 were categorized as slow cleaving linkers. Conjugating slow cleaving peptide linkers to small molecule drugs will increase the half-life and enhance the duration of drug action upon intravitreal injection. In this study, linkers that are hydrolyzed by specific enzymes present in vitreous or ocular tissues are exploited to investigate their potential for delivering small molecule drugs.
  • Eronen, Sini-Tuulia (2022)
    Introduction: When people age, the composition of sleep changes and sleep becomes more sensitive to external disturbances, making insomnia also more common. Medication is not the first-line treatment option for insomnia. Benzodiazepines or benzodiazepine receptor agonists for the treatment of insomnia have been in the focus of past studies. The content of the dosing instructions for the supplied medicines has not been studied. The dosing instructions should provide clear instructions on how to dose the medicine prescribed to the patient. The aim of this study was to investigate the content and quality of dosing instructions prescribed for the treatment of insomnia for Finns aged ≥75 years in 2020 based on the prospective reimbursement register data by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela). Materials and methods: The reimbursed purchases of all medicines by persons aged ≥75 years from 1.1.2020 to 31.12.2020 were selected by ATC code from the medicines data according to the Insomnia: Current Care guidelines. The data was gathered from Kela’s dispensations reimbursed under the National Health Insurance scheme. The dataset consisted of 1,080,843 delivery lines, which were screened, and 328,285 lines were included in the analyses. Dosage instructions were reviewed according to the following predetermined five categories: frequency of use, dose, timing, warnings or remarks, and inappropriate instructions. In addition, 1000 dosing instructions were randomly derived to study the phrasing and appropriateness of the dosing instructions in more detail. Results: In 2020, an average of 3.8 reimbursed hypnotic drug deliveries were made per elderly person. Of the deliveries, 68% were for women. 52% of drug deliveries were partially made later and not by original prescription. In the hypnotic dataset, the three most administered drugs were zopiclone (41%), mirtazapine (34%) and zolpidem (12%). The dosage was prescribed in 98–99% of the dosage instructions. Dosing schedule was reported in 83% of dosing instructions and regularity of use was reported in 57% of them. Only 3-6% of the dosing instructions had comments or warnings. 1–2% of the dosing instructions were vague. The duration or regularity of use was clearly indicated in 5% of the dosing instructions. Only 0.1% of dosage instructions contained instructions for discontinuation or reduction. Discussion: The dose and timing of administration were well reported, but the frequency of use was reported in only about half of the dosing instructions. Only few dosing instructions contained remarks or warnings even though hypnotics are at risk for the elderly. Among the three most administered drugs for the treatment of insomnia were two benzodiazepine receptor agonists, zopiclone and zolpidem. However, they may not be suitable for the elderly according to Beers criteria and their use should be avoided. During 2020, an average of four drug deliveries were made per elderly person for the treatment of insomnia, which may indicate prolonged hypnotics use. In addition, more than half of the deliveries were partially made later and not by original prescription. Thus, several drug packages are prescribed for prescriptions, although the drug-based treatment of insomnia should only be short-lived. Conclusions: There are significant deficiencies in the contents and quality in the dosing instructions for drugs delivered to the elderly for insomnia. Minimum information on dose, timing and duration of use was not found in all dosing instructions in this study. Understandable dosing instructions and the reduction in the amount of medication in the prescription could have a further effect on reducing the long-term use of hypnotics, also increasing the safety of medicine use in the elderly.
  • Hämäläinen, Klaus (2022)
    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an incurable autoimmune demyelinating disease affecting the central nervous system (CNS). Although the detailed pathogenesis remains unclear, recent research has highlighted the involvement of B cells. For decades, however, MS research was based on T cell-focused animal models of autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), which do not reflect the involvement of B cells in the pathogenesis. Therefore, B cell-dependent EAE models are hypothesized to allow a better understanding of MS immunohistopathology and may therefore lead to the development of efficient treatments. In our spontaneous relapsing-remitting (RR) EAE model, B cells are recruited from the endogenous repertoire by transgenic myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) -reactive T cells, causing the development of EAE in 3–4-month-old mice. Interestingly, MOG-specific antibodies are present long before actual onset of clinical disease and can be detected already in 5-week-old RR mice and disease development in RR mice is dependent both on the presence of (presumably MOG-specific) B cells as well as on stimuli provided by intestinal microbiota. Firstly, we evaluated the broader usability of induced germinal center cell (iGB) culture as a model for B cell repertoire studies. Then, by using iGB culture, we studied whether MOG-specific B cells are present in secondary lymphoid organs of younger than 4-week-old and germ-free RR mice. Finally, this study aimed to investigate whether the repertoire of MOG-specific B cells undergoes significant qualitative changes from young healthy mice to older acutely sick RR mice, and whether at the time of disease onset the recruited MOG-specific B cells expand and mature in the cervical nodes (cLN) or in the CNS. To do so, following the hosting-lab’s previous single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of B cells derived from cLN of 5-week-old RR mice, we performed the scRNA-seq of B cells from CNS, spleen, and cLN of acutely sick RR EAE mice. We demonstrated that iGB culture is an unsuitable tool to expand pre-activated B cells, and hence, in our hands it was inappropriate for repertoire studies. However, iGB culture proved to be useful for screening different organs for MOG-specific B lymphocytes, and we found that anti-MOG antibodies were firstly detected in 3-4-week-old RR mice, and MOG-specific B cells were present also in germ-free RR mice. Our scRNA-seq results revealed many highly expanded MOG-specific B cell clonotypes in acutely sick RR mice. Moreover, the B cell repertoire of sick RR mice was more diverse, including IgG1, IgM, IgG2b, IgG2c, and IgG3 isotypes, compared to healthy 5-week-old RR mice that had only IgG1 or IgM isotypes. Two-thirds of the expanded clonotypes were primarily detected in the CNS in sick RR mice, indicating that clonotypes develop further and continue isotype switching within the CNS. We also detected more somatic mutation in the variable region of expanded clones of sick RR mice compared to 5-week-old RR mice. The results of this study clearly show an antigen-driven evolution of the MOG-specific B cell repertoire from healthy young to acutely sick RR mice, which seems to occur mainly in CNS itself. In contrast, cLN are the major initial priming site of MOG-specific B cells in healthy RR mice, even under germ-free conditions. This suggests that commensal microbiota is not required for initial recruitment of MOG-specific B cells, but for the development of EAE. To further validate our encouraging scRNA-Seq results, it is necessary, in future experiments, to confirm the MOG-specificity of expanded clonotypes.
  • Mannermaa, Siiri (2023)
    Medication safety is an important target of development in health and social services systems internationally. Medication errors are one of the biggest risk factors in medication safety. Majority of the medication incidents could be avoided by improving the medication treatment process. Patient safety incident reporting systems enable health and social services to collect systematic data from risk factors within the medication treatment process. This study was conducted as a retrospective registry-based study where medication incidents that occurred in health and social care units reported by community pharmacies to the incident reporting system HaiPro from 21st of September 2021 to 31st of October 2022 were analysed. Cases that did not meet the criteria for this study (n=55) were removed from the original data (n=3841). If needed, the nature and type of the reported error were corrected. A descriptive quantitative analysis was conducted for the final data (n=3786) using Microsoft Excel. The number, natures, types, observers, and prescription types of medication errors were investigated from the data. In addition, the most common groups of medicinal substance and high risk medicines were identified. A qualitive content analysis was performed to near miss cases involving high-risk medications (n=446) using the Atlas.ti program. Interventions, measures following the interventions and risks prevented by the measures were identified from the open description in the incident reports. The qualitative analysis was performed as an abductive content analysis. Of the medication errors included in the study (n=3786) 91% were detected by community pharmacies and the majority (68%) of the reported incidents were near misses. Most (96%) of the safety incidents (n=3786) were associated with the patient’s medication treatment and had occurred mostly during the prescribing process (92%). As a result from the prescribing errors, patients were most commonly prescribed wrong dose or strength of the medicine (26%) or the prescription lacked SIC marking (26%). High-risk medications occurred in 16% (n=591) of the incidents (n=3786). Most frequently detected high-risk medications were opioids (35 %). Three quarters (76 %) of safety incidents associated with high-risk medications were near misses (n=446). The majority (92 %) of interventions (n=471) made to prevent safety incidents associated with high-risk medications were made by community pharmacies. The most frequent intervention was community pharmacies contacting the doctor. Based on the HaiPro incident reports made about medication errors in health and social care units reported by community pharmacies, it can be concluded that community pharmacies are a central barrier in primary care medication treatment process. Community pharmacies detect and report medication errors that have occurred in other health and social care units. Safety incidents reported by pharmacies systematically accumulate important information that can be used in the development of medication safety in primary care at a unit, wellbeing services county and national levels.
  • Laakso, Johanna (2022)
    The operation of community pharmacies has developed extensively over the past decades, with special emphasis on medication counselling services. In addition to dispensing, pharmacies can offer various kinds of clinical pharmacy services, such as medication reviews, automated dose dispensing and other services to support rational use of medicines. All this activity requires patient information, which is currently available in pharmacies only from prescriptions, reimbursement information, and by asking the customer. Because of this, a need to increase the availability of patient information in pharmacies has come up. The aim of this study was to determine what kind of patient information should be available in community pharmacies for 1) the statutory dispensing of medicines, the medication counselling and treatment monitoring, and 2) other services related to promotion of health and well-being and prevention of diseases. Furthermore, the study investigated experts' experiences of the sufficiency of patient information in pharmacies, as well as in what form and from what period the information should be available in pharmacies. The study was conducted as a 3-round Delphi study with an expert panel consisting of 20 pharmacists specialized in clinical pharmacy. Consensus was formed with the help of a preliminary patient information list which had been compiled based on the literature and the expertise of the research group (a total of 39 patient data items). The limit of the experts' consensus was set to ≥80%. The Delphi-rounds were conducted as electronic surveys during the spring and summer of 2022. The responses were analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods. Most of the expert panellists (n=20) perceived that the patient information available in community pharmacies was insufficient. This study reached a strong consensus that pharmacies should have quite a large set of patient information available both for dispensing medicines and medication counselling, and for providing services supporting rational use of medicines. Of the patient data items, nine reached the consensus line concerning dispensing of medicines and 31 measures concerning other services. From both points of view, information about the client's diagnoses, blood pressure, and the GFR value indicating kidney function were rated as the most important to be available in community pharmacies. However, the panellists also reported challenges to overcome in the access and utilization of the patient information, for example, related to current legislation, resources, and competences of pharmacists. These aspects should be considered in the development of community pharmacy practice and electronic patient information (e.g., Kanta services).
  • Pihlajakoski, Marjo (2022)
    Operations of pharmaceutical supply chain and medication management practices will be evaluated as part of the ongoing social and health services reform in Finland. One of the goals is to develop digital medication management tools and services to meet the needs of both healthcare professionals and medicine users. The aim of this study was to examine population's willingness to use on new digital services by community pharmacies to promote rational pharmacotherapy and to support cooperation between those involved in the medication use process. The material for this study consisted of the national population survey conducted in 2020 for the VN TEAS report “Activation of price competition for pharmaceutical products and the population's expectations for pharmacy operations” (online survey for 18–79-year-old adults, n = 1650). The survey respondents represented well the target population expect those with higher educational level were over-represented. The current study focused on questions related to digital medication management services provided by community pharmacies, which were divided into the following 4 topics to form sum variables: 1) purchasing and dispensing process of medicines (4 items), 2) customer`s communication with pharmacy and health care personnel (2 items), 3) pharmacy and healthcare personnel`s communication with the customer (4 items) and 4) support services for medication self-management (12 items). The associations of the background variables to the sum variables were calculated using cross-tabulation and the Chi-Square test. Frequencies and percentages were used to present. The majority (85–90%) of the respondents were in favor of the possibility of sending messages electronically between the customer, the community pharmacy and other healthcare personnel by using a shared communication channel, such as My Kanta to update medication information online. Multimorbidity, medication use, and higher medication costs increased the respondent’s positive attitude towards the electronic communication channel. Three-quarters (76%) of respondents were willing to use electronic medicine purchasing and dispensing services. Younger respondents (18–34 years) were more interested in these services than older ones. The electronic medication self-management support services had more discrete opinions among respondents. More than half of the respondents indicated their strong willingness to use at least one of the medication self-management support online services listed in the survey instrument. Those aged 18–34 years (69%), those with higher education (62%), those living in the Province of Southern Finland (60%) and those living in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area (67%) were more positive than others. Of the respondents who opted for pharmacy's remote online services, 55% were willing to seek advice for reconciling their medication list. According to the survey, Finnish adults are willing to use new electronic services by community pharmacies. In particular, they were willing to use a shared electronic communication channel between the customer, the pharmacy and other healthcare personnel, such as MyKanta to update information related to their medication. The willingness to have support self-care support for medication self-management primarily from the pharmacy's online services was lower than the willingness to use online purchasing and dispensing services. Of the remote medication self-management services medication reconciliation had the highest demand. Future research should focus on enhancing use of electronic medication self-management services provided by community pharmacies. Further research should also be targeted to understand medicine user needs for support as it may vary between patient groups, requiring segmentation of services.
  • Lindevall, Mari (2021)
    The purpose of this systematic review is to investigate the usage of artificial intelligence in the pharmaceutical industry in the fields of pharmaceutical manufacturing, product development, and quality control. Today, developing and getting a new drug on the market is time-consuming, ineffective, and expensive. Artificial intelligence is seen as one possible solution to the problems of the pharmaceutical industry. From 734 articles 77 academic study articles were included. Included articles showed artificial neural networks to be the most used artificial intelligence method between 1991 and 2021. The search was conducted from three databases with the following inclusion criteria: studies using AI in either pharmaceutical manufacturing, product development or quality control, English as the language, and Western medicine-based pharmacy as a branch of science. This systematic literature review has three main limitations: the possibility of an important search word missing from the search algorithm, the selection of articles according to one person's assessment, and the possible narrow picture of the used artificial intelligence methods in the pharmaceutical industry, as pharmaceutical companies also research the subject. The use of artificial intelligence in product development has been studied the most, while its use in quality control has been studied the least. In the studies, tablets were a popular drug form, while biological drugs were underrepresented. In total, the number of studies published increased over three decades. However, most of the articles were published in 2020. Nearly half of the articles had some connection to a pharmaceutical company, indicating the interest of both the academy and pharmaceutical companies in the use of artificial intelligence in manufacturing, product development, and quality control. In the future, the efficacy of artificial intelligence, as well as its limitations as a method, should be investigated to conclude its potential to play a key role in reforming the pharmaceutical industry. The results of the study show that a wave of artificial intelligence has arrived in the pharmaceutical industry, however, its real benefits will only be seen with future research.
  • Autzen Virtanen, Anja (2023)
    Poorly water-soluble drugs are challenging to formulate as solid oral dosage forms because of their inadequate solubility in the gastro-intestinal tract. Amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) are a proven method of increasing the oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs through drug supersaturation. Downstream processing of ASDs into oral tablets has gained academic interest in recent years. However, minitablets, which are tablets smaller than 4 mm in size, have not received the same level of attention. Minitablets have been cited as a promising dosage form for children, the elderly and in veterinary use because of their good compliance, flexible dosing, and ease of swallowing. In this work, 15 different blends of microcrystalline cellulose and lactose have been characterized for their suitability in the formulation of an ASD of spray-dried poorly soluble indomethacin in PVP K 29-32 or HPMCAS MF as minitablets. Minitablets were compressed at the compression forces ~1000 N and ~1500 N. The flowability of the blends were evaluated based on the Carr’s indices, Hausner ratios and angles of repose. From the most promising blends, 3.0 mm placebo minitablets were manufactured. A mixing test using colored beetroot powder was used to determine the optimal mixing time. The finished tablets were tested for their uniformity of mass, crushing strength, height, and disintegration. Based on their Carr’s indices and Hausner ratios, Vivapur 105, Vivapur 200, Pharmatose 200M and Pharmatose 80M had the best flowabilities. Placebo minitablets were successfully manufactured from blends of these excipients except for the 1:1 ratio of Vivapur 105/Pharmatose 80M. The mixing test indicated that the optimal mixing time is 20 to 25 minutes. The mass variation for all placebo batches except the 1:3 ratio of Vivapur 105/Pharmatose 80M was less than 10 percent from the average mass and most batches therefore fulfilled the uniformity of mass requirement of the European Pharmacopoeia. For five of the batches, the variation was within 2.80 percent. The average crushing strengths were between 32.4 N and 79.7 N and increased with increasing compression force. All batches of placebo minitablets disintegrated within 6 to 19 seconds on average except the 1:3 ratio of Vivapur 105/Pharmatose 80M which took 90 seconds to disintegrate. Minitablets filled in capsules disintegrated within 124 to 167 seconds on average except for the previously mentioned slower disintegrating batch which disintegrated in 477 seconds. All placebo minitablets, individual or loaded into capsules disintegrated within 15 minutes thereby fulfilling the requirement of the European Pharmacopeia. When considering the results obtained for placebo minitablets, the 3:1 ratio blend of Vivapur 200/Pharmatose 200M with 0.5 % (w/w) magnesium stearate was found to be the most promising candidate for ASD formulation. This formulation was subsequently used as the basis for the manufacture of 3.0 mm minitablets containing 6.22 % (w/w) of a spray-dried dispersion of indomethacin and PVP K 29-32. Except for one outlier, the mass variation of these minitablets fell within 2.37 % of the average mass, thereby fulfilling the requirement of the European Pharmacopoeia. Single indomethacin-PVP minitablets disintegrated within 6 minutes and 38 seconds, and capsules containing twelve minitablets disintegrated within 10 minutes and 37 seconds, which also is accordance with the pharmacopoeia. At 80.3 to 80.4 N the crushing strength was at the upper end of the targeted range, but still adequate. Thus, the formulation developed in this study appears promising for the manufacture of minitablets containing 6.22 % of an amorphous indomethacin-PVP dispersion. This study demonstrated that minitablets could be manufactured from a spray-dried solid dispersion despite its poor flowability.
  • Manninen, Kalle (2023)
    Oncolytic adenoviruses are a new cancer treatment platform which aims to eliminate cancer through direct lysis of cancer cells by viral replication and the activation of the immune system by the release of tumor antigens upon oncolysis. In the PeptiCRAd technology, the activation of an anti-cancer immune response is enhanced by the addition of poly-lysine modified cancer peptides, where the antigen presentation to the immune system is improved in comparison to plain oncolytic viruses. PeptiCRAd complexes have been assumed to form solely by electrostatic interactions, but the thermodynamic profiles and mechanisms involved in the complexation have not been previously addressed. Thus, by adding isothermal titration calorimetry as part of the analysis repertoire provides valuable information of the characteristics of PeptiCRAd complexes. In this study, the applicability of isothermal titration calorimetry in PeptiCRAd complexation analyses was evaluated based on initial peptide-to-virus and virus-to-peptide titrations, and a method of analysis was created for the thermodynamics of the interactions of the complex. Optimization of the experimental method (i.e., titration protocol) and the data analysis (i.e., calculation models) remains inconclusive for quantitative analysis as data obtained from the measurements was mainly of bad quality, thus requiring further optimization to obtain reliable data. However, using surface plasmon resonance as an already established method for poly-lysine peptide-virus interaction studies gave robust data and can be used as a base or guideline to further develop isothermal titration calorimetry analyses for characterizing PeptiCRAd complexes. Although isothermal titration calorimetry measurements were unsuccessful for quantification purposes, it was possible to qualitate the mechanisms of PeptiCRAd complexation for four different peptides with fair confidence. The peptides showed low heats of binding, and positive and negative cooperative binding in ionic and non-ionic solutions, respectively. Based on this, the binding of peptides in PeptiCRAd complexes was determined to be driven by hydrophobic inter-peptide interactions on the virus surface, although an electrostatic attraction is indeed present at the virus-peptide interface, initiating the binding event. Also, improvements to the titration protocol for PeptiCRAd analyses with isothermal titration calorimetry are suggested for further optimizations in the future to conclusively determine the applicability of the isothermal titration calorimetry technique for characterizing peptide-virus interactions of PeptiCRAd complexes.
  • Kylkilahti, Sanni (2022)
    Chilit ovat Capsicum-sukuun kuuluvia yleensä korkean kapsaisiinipitoisuuden omaavia paprikalajeja. Niitä käytetään mausteena. Lisäksi chilien sisältämillä kapsaisinoideilla on todettu olevan useita farmakologisia ominaisuuksia, kuten analgeettisia ja antioksidanttisia vaikutuksia. Niiden antimikrobisia ominaisuuksia on myös hieman tutkittu, mutta tutkimuksia on vielä verrattain vähän. Tämän työn tarkoituksena oli selvittää muutamien eri chililajikkeista valmistettujen uutteiden antimikrobisia vaikutuksia Escherichia colia ja Staphylococcus aureusta vastaan. Uutteet testattiin dimetyylisulfoksidiin (DMSO) ja veteen liuotettuina. Lisäksi testattiin myös kahden puhdasaineen, kapsiaatin ja solaniinin, vaikutuksia kyseisiä bakteereita vastaan. Antimikrobiakokeet suoritettiin 96-kuoppalevyllä noudattaen aseptisia työtapoja. Testattuja chiliuutteita oli 19. Uutteita valmistettiin eri chililajikkeiden versoista (1 kpl) siemenistä (3 kpl), lehdistä (10 kpl) ja hedelmistä (5 kpl). Dimetyylisulfoksidiin liuotetut uutteet testattiin pitoisuuksilla 2,0 mg/ml ja 4,0 mg/ml. Veteen liuotetut uutteet testattiin pitoisuudella 4,0 mg/ml. Solaniini- ja kapsiaattiuutteet testattiin kahdeksalla eri pitoisuudella (0,001172–0,15 μg/ml). Tutkimuksen tuloksena on, että testatut chiliuutteet eikä solaniini- ja kapsiaattiuutteet estäneet E. colin tai S. aureuksen kasvua. DMSO:iin liuotetuista uutteista korkeimmat estoprosentit kumpaakin bakteeria vastaan saatiin nuorilla Pimento-lehdillä. Veteen liuotetuista uutteista korkein estoprosentti E. colia vastaan saatiin Dulcen versoilla (30 % esto) ja S. aureusta vastaan Dulcen hedelmillä (50 % esto). Aiemmat tutkimustulokset chilien antimikrobisista vaikutuksista ovat ristiriitaisia, joten yhteneviä johtopäätöksiä chilien vaikutuksista bakteereihin ei voida tehdä. Johtopäätöksenä voidaan todeta, että chileillä on lukuisia terveysvaikutuksia. Antimikrobisen tehon varmistamiseksi tarvittaisi kuitenkin lisää tutkimuksia. Antibioottiresistenssi on maailmanlaajuinen ongelma, koska yhä useammat bakteerit ovat resistenttejä käytetyille antibiooteille. Tulevaisuudessa onkin erittäin tärkeää löytää uusia yhdisteitä bakteerien tappamiseksi, joten tutkimuksia uusien antimikrobisten aineiden löytämiseksi tarvitaan jatkuvasti lisää
  • Sipola, Kirsi (2021)
    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by degeneration of motor neurons in brain and spinal cord. The degeneration of motor neurons leads to muscle atrophy and paralysis. Currently there is no cure for ALS. Available drugs for ALS can lengthen the survival time by a couple of months. Several factors involve the pathophysiology of ALS, such as endoplasmic reticulum stress and neuroinflammation. Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) is a protein which has shown neuroprotective effects on animal models of Parkinson disease and brain ischemia. C-terminal fragment of MANF can cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to be administered subcutaneously instead of injected directly into the brain. The experimental part consists of two parts. The aim of the first part was to study the pharmacokinetic properties of next generation MANF (C-MANF). The aim of the second part was to elucidate the effect of twice a week administered subcutaneous injection of C-MANF in genetic SOD1-G93A mouse model and its neuroprotective effects by assessing protection of lumbar motor neurons. Pharmacokinetic properties of C-MANF were determined in wild type mice after a single subcutaneous injection of C-MANF at different time points by using indirect ELISA assay. The effects of C-MANF in SOD1-G93A mouse model were assessed by subcutaneous injection of either C-MANF or PBS twice a week and by monitoring clinical score and motor behavior of mice from 10 weeks of age to clinical endpoint. Hematoxylin eosin staining was used to study neuroprotective effects of C-MANF. C-MANF administered subcutaneously is absorbed into the blood circulation and the highest serum concentration of C-MANF is after 60 minutes of dosing. Subcutaneously injected C-MANF also crosses the blood-brain barrier and reach the brain in 120 minutes. C-MANF did not preserve motor function or ameliorated ALS symptoms in SOD1-G93A mouse model. In this study C-MANF did not increase the survival of SOD1-G93A mice. C-MANF did not significantly protect motor neurons from degeneration even though there was a slight trend between the groups. No beneficial effects were observed with C-MANF in SOD1-G93A mouse model and therefore the dose and frequency of administration of C-MANF were not optimal. Subcutaneously injected C-MANF provides a safer dosing option for neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Nurmi, Kurt (2022)
    Viral promoters are an essential part of a normally functioning virus. Their main task is to drive the transcription of genes which govern hijacking of cell function and replication of viral particles. In addition to supporting normal function of a virus, they can be used to drive the transcription of transgenes which can be used in different therapies. In oncolytic therapies, transgenes can be used to prime the host system against neoplasms which has been shown to generate long term anti-tumour immunity. Human adenoviruses (Ad) are commonly used as a platform for oncolytic virotherapies. Human Ad’s replicate poorly in mouse tumour cell lines, yet some promoters, which are included in the viral constructs to drive the transcription of beneficial transgenes, are able to function. Currently it is unknown whether E3, the native promoter of adenovirus 5 of the E3 region, is capable of functioning in murine cell lines. In this thesis we study whether human cytomegalovirus promoter (CMV) and E3 differ in their efficacy to drive the transcription of the mOX40L and mCD40L transgenes. In the experimental part of this thesis, we compared the efficacies of two viral promoters, AdE3 and AdCVM, in transcribing mOX40Land mCD40L in vitro. Efficacy of transcription was assessed through immunofluorescence and flow cytometry in human and murine cell lines. Furthermore, the effects of promoters on viral infection, killing and replication were evaluated in burst assay and the colorimetric MTS proliferation assay. MTS and burst assay were conducted to confirm if viral infection, killing and replication occurs in human and murine cell lines. Both AdE3 and AdCMV were able to infect and kill human cell lines and cell viability decreased in correlation to the number of viral particles used. In murine cell lines, no decrease in cell viability was detected in the 4T1 cell line. In burst assay, viral replication was observed for both AdE3 and AdCMV in the human MDA-MB-436 cell line. In murine CT26 cell line, no replication was observed for AdE3 or AdCMV constructs. Immunofluorescence assay was performed to visualize transgene expression and localization. Results indicated that mOX40L was localized on cell surface while mCD40L was detected both outside and inside of the cytosolic compartment. Flow cytometry results revealed that both AdE3 and AdCMV constructs are capable of efficiently transcribing mOX40L in human cell lines. In the flow cytometry results for AdE3, two large cell populations with different fluorescence intensities were detected. AdCMV lacked this feature which is postulated to be due to higher lytic activity of the viral construct. In murine cell lines, HCMV could produce mOX40L, but production in murine cell lines was severely attenuated compared to human cell lines. mOX40L produced by the AdE3 construct did not differ from the baseline and was deemed incapable of producing mOX40L in murine cell lines. For the purpose of studying novel virotherapeutics the results of this thesis would indicate that human CMV can be used to drive expression of transgenes in murine cell lines. Despite this, it is preferable to use host specific viruses and promoter sequences for a better translation between mice and humans. Viruksen promoottorit ovat keskeisessä osassa toimintakykyisessä viruksessa. Virus promoottorin päätarkoituksena on geenien transkriptio, mitkä vastaavat solun keskeisten toimintojen kaappaamisesta ja virus partikkeleiden replikaatiosta. Näiden toimintojen lisäksi promoottoreita voidaan käyttää transgeenien transkriptiossa, mitä voidaan hyödyntää sairauksien hoidossa. Onkolyyttisissä terapioissa transgeenejä voidaan käyttää virittämään kehon immuunipuolustus taistelemaan kasvainkudosta vastaan. Ihmisen adenovirusta käytetään usein onkolyyttisten viroterapioiden alustana. Ihmisen adenovirus (Ad) replikoituu hyvin heikosti hiiren syöpäsoluissa, mutta osa adenovirukseen sisälletyistä eksogeenisistä promoottoreista, joita käytetään terapeuttisten transgeenien transkription ajamiseen, kykenee toimimaan ja tuottamaan haluttua proteiinia. Tällä hetkellä ei tiedetä, kykeneekö E3, joka on adenoviruksen E3 lokuksen promoottori, toimimaan hiiren solulinjoissa. Tässä tutkielmassa selvitämme ihmisen sytomegalovirus promoottorin (CMV) ja E3 eroa niiden tehossa ajaa mOX40L ja mCD40L transgeenien transkriptiota. Kokeellisessa osuudessa vertailimme kahden virus promoottorin, E3 ja CMV, eroa niiden tehossa ajaa mCD40L ja mOX40L transkriptiota in vitro. Transkription tehoa tutkittiin immunofluoresenssin ja virtaussytometrian avulla ihmisen ja hiiren syöpäsolulinjoissa. Tämän lisäksi promoottorien vaikutusta virus infektioon, replikaatioon ja kykyyn tappaa soluja arvioitiin burst kokeella ja kolorimetrisellä MTS menetelmällä. MTS ja burst kokeiden avulla varmistettiin AdE3 ja AdCMV virusten kyky infektoida, tappaa ja replikoitua ihmisen ja hiiren syöpäsolulinjoissa. Sekä Ad3 ja AdCMV todettiin kykenevän infektoimaan ja tappamaan ihmissyöpäsoluja ja solujen viabiliteetin lasku korreloi virus partikkeleiden määrän kanssa. Hiiren 4T1 syöpäsoluissa ei todettu solujen viabiliteetin laskevan. Burst kokeessa havaitsimme sekä AdE3 että AdCMV kykenevän replikoitumaan ihmisen MDA-MB-436 solulinjassa. Hiiren CT26 solulinjassa kummankaan viruksen ei havaittu kykenevän replikoitumaan. Immunofluoresenssi kokeessa visualisoimme transgeenien ilmentymisen ja paikantumisen. Tulokset osoittivat, että mOX40L paikantui solun pinnalle. mCD40L havaittiin puolestaan sekä solun ulkopuolella että sytosolissa. Virtaussytometria kokeen tulokset osoittivat, että sekä AdE3 ja AdCMV pystyivät tehokkaasti ilmentämään mOX40L ihmisen solulinjoissa. AdE3 virtausytometria tuloksissa löydettiin kaksi solupopulaatiota, joilla oli toisistaan poikkeavat fluoresenssi intensiteetit. Tätä ilmiötä ei havaittu AdCMV:lla infektoiduilla soluilla, mikä saattoi johtua korkeammasta lyyttisestä aktiivisuudesta. Hiirisolulinjoissa CMV kykeni ilmentämään mOX40L, mutta transkription teho oli selvästi alhaisempi verrattuna ihmissolulinjoihin. E3 promoottorin ilmentämä mOX40L ei eronnut kontrollista ja sen todettiin olevan kykenemätön tuottamaan mOX40L hiirisolulinjoissa. Tuloksemme osoittavat, että ihmisen CMV promoottori kykenee ilmentämään transgeenejä hiiren 4T1 ja CT26 solulinjoissa. On kuitenkin huomattava, että isäntälajille natiivien virusten ja promoottorien käyttö olisi tarkoituksenmukaisempaa tulosten käännettävyyden kannalta hiiristä ihmisiin.
  • Lähdesmäki, Emmi (2023)
    The most typical symptoms of dementia include impairment of cognitive brain functions, such as memory and thinking. Most common forms of dementia include Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia, which is caused by degeneration of the frontotemporal lobe. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, covering about 75% of all the cases. The pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease includes beta-amyloid plaques and tau proteins, which accumulate in the brain, and which have been linked to damage to nerve pathways and the appearance of the typical symptoms of the disease. The disorder is progressive, but the exact cause remains unknown. However, old age (>65 years), the APOE-4 gene, lifestyle, and some comorbidities, such as cardiovascular diseases, are considered risk factors. Even though extensive research has been conducted, there is currently no curative treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Sleep disorders can be both a symptom of Alzheimer's disease and a risk factor for the onset of the disorder. Therefore, the mechanisms of sleep and circadian rhythm are connected to the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease, for example through the glymphatic system that cleans the brain mainly during deep sleep. Many drugs for Alzheimer's disease have a recommended time of administration. The dosing time can be very important issue in terms of the effectiveness of the drug. According to a recent study, sleep and circadian rhythm have not been considered in most studies on new rapid-acting antidepressants. Therefore, we carried out an analogous systematic literature review for Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The aim of this study was to find out whether sleep and circadian rhythm have been considered in the most cited preclinical and clinical drug research articles for Alzheimer's disease and dementia during the last decade (2010–2020). In addition, it was examined which drug groups the studied compounds belonged to, and what was the sex distribution of the test subjects in the studies. The number of subjects was also determined from clinical studies, and the animal species from preclinical studies. The research articles analysed in the study were collected with a systematic literature review of Scopus database. The study found that most studies did not include any consideration of sleep or circadian rhythm. Most of the investigated compounds were small molecules, followed by supplements and herbs, and rest classified as biological drugs. Most of the clinical trials were relatively small studies with less than a hundred subjects or hundreds of subjects. Among the 100 most cited clinical research articles, there were 14 reanalyses and observational studies that were not included in this analysis of subject numbers. In clinical studies, most of the test subjects were usually female, while preclinical studies used commonly male animals. To conduct more open and reliable science in the future, drug research should pay more attention to the subjects’ sleep patterns, the time of drug administration, and reporting on these issues in the articles, which is usually part of the requirements of scientific journals. This could potentially narrow the translational gap between preclinical and clinical research.
  • Oksanen, Jouni (2023)
    Vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) is the most studied of the growth factors that control the growth of lymphatic vessels (lymphangiogenesis) and belongs to the same VEGF family as VEGF-A, which controls the growth of blood vessels. The growth of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels is centrally related to the pathophysiology of several cancers that form solid tumours and wet macular degeneration. Unlike VEGF-A, VEGF-C is not currently (2023) a target molecule of any approved drugs, but in clinical trials in the indications mentioned above, combining a VEGF C inhibitor with VEGF-A inhibitors has provided better results than VEGF-A inhibitor monotherapy. The study's objective was converting a phage display library containing single-chain antibody variable fragments (scFvs) screened against VEGF-C into full IgG class antibodies. The scFvs had shown a binding affinity towards the human, mouse, or both VEGF-C variants. The DNA sequences of the best binders of the library had previously been cloned into pLK06H plasmids. The scFvs comprise the variable region of the light and heavy chain (VL and VH) but do not contain the constant regions of the antibody (CL and CHx). Using single-chain antibody fragments as drugs is limited because, in most indications, better stability of whole antibodies, lower immunogenicity, and a longer half-life enabling less frequent dosing is desirable. In addition, the Fc part of whole antibodies often mediates the drug effect, such as complement activation, and whole antibodies are also used as research tools. Secondly, the study aimed to investigate how changing the antibody format affects the binding affinity. To produce whole antibodies, original DNA sequences of pVitro-trastuzumab-IgGk1 plasmid encoding VH and VL regions were replaced with new VH and VL sequences from the phage display library. Several recombinant DNA technology methods were utilised, but the most crucial method was the commercially available NEBuilder HiFi DNA Assembly, which enabled the seamless joining of several DNA fragments into a recombinant DNA molecule in a single-tube reaction. The cloning workflow proved uncertain, as only one constructed antibody production plasmid was sufficiently amplified and expressed in bacterial and mammalian cell cultures. Suboptimal overlapping of DNA fragments and insufficient competence of the bacterial strain used in the transformation were probable bottlenecks. Therefore, as such, the method is not suitable for use on a large scale to convert single-chain antibody fragments into whole antibodies. Also, binding tests were not performed. However, the work done and the antibody production plasmid built is a good basis for further optimisation of the method. In the optimisation, attention should be paid, especially to the quality of the DNA primers and the competence of the bacterial cell line. Also, alternative cloning methods, such as restriction enzymes and ligases, could be used instead of the NEBuilder HiFi DNA Assembly.
  • Eronen, Janne (2023)
    Adequate vaccine coverage and vaccine refusal have been prominently featured in the media during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision-makers have considered adequate vaccine coverage important for maintaining the capacity of healthcare. The purpose of this study is to produce population-based research data about the factors affecting the willingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine. With the help of that information, it is possible to identify the factors that influence individual’s decision-making about whether to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The data of the study is the first Kansalaispulssi-data of the year 2022. Kansalaispulssi is a survey, made by the assignment of the State Council, which is used to research Finnish citizen’s views of the current topics. The research design is cross-sectional. The analysis of the study is done by crosstabulation using the Chi-square test. Age and financial situation of the person were related to the willingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine and the person's view of the role of the vaccine in preventing severe corona disease and getting rid of the COVID-19 pandemic. Age also influenced the person's view of the importance of the vaccine in preventing the COVID-19 disease. Gender, province, or educational level had no effect on a person's vaccine views in this study. Based on the research, Finnish citizens are very pro-vaccine. They also understand well the role of the vaccine in preventing a serious illness caused by the disease.
  • Laurikkala, Nella (2022)
    Digitalization of health care and the corona pandemic have increased availability and use of online services provided by community pharmacies. In Finland, willingness to use online pharmacy services has been studied from population approach. Less is known about the user satisfaction with the core online pharmacy services such as dispensing and medication counseling services. This study aimed to investigate satisfaction with the University Pharmacy’s online services ( from customers’ approach. Primarily, customer satisfaction with dispensing and medication counseling services was assessed. In addition, characteristics affecting customer satisfaction were analyzed. The conceptual framework of the study was Andersen's Model of Health Services Use. The data for this study was collected by a cross-sectional survey conducted in August 2020 among University Pharmacy’s online pharmacy customers who had made a purchase during the last three months. The survey instrument consisted mainly of structured Likert-scale questions, which were used to form two sum variables: satisfaction on online dispensing services (3 variables, Cronbach's alpha 0.803) and satisfaction on online counseling services (2 variables, Cronbach's alpha 0.883). Satisfaction on online dispensing services was studied through willingness to recommend and use the services in the future. Satisfaction on online counseling services was studied through a comparison of medication counseling on an online pharmacy and a conventional pharmacy. IBM SPSS (28) -software was used for statistical analysis consisting of bivariate (Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests) and multivariate (generalized linear model) analyses to identify factors affecting satisfaction with dispensing and medication counseling services. Of 15 172 invitations sent to fill out the survey, 2555 eligible responses were received (16 %). Of the respondents, 92 % had concomitantly used the services of a conventional pharmacy. . The mean of satisfaction on online dispensing services on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 being the most positive option "completely agree") was 4.3 (SD 0.8). Similarly, the mean of satisfaction on online counseling services was 3.7 (SD 0.9). According to the multivariate analyses, significant characteristics affecting satisfaction on online dispensing services were age, form of living (alone/family with children/couple), purchase of prescription or OTC medicine, frequency of internet use and previous visits to a conventional pharmacy. Characteristics affecting satisfaction on online counseling services were education, purchase of prescription medicine, use of chat information service, frequency of internet use and previous visits to a conventional University Pharmacy outlet. The services on online pharmacy rated most important by the respondents were services about medicine availabilities (in conventional University Pharmacy outlets and during a shortage) and information about medicines (prices, Kela reimbursements and information about customers' prescriptions). Customers were satisfied with online dispensing and counseling services. Online dispensing services received a higher satisfaction rate than online counseling services. Customers who had used the chat service and purchased a prescription medicine online were more likely to assess online counseling services to be equal or better than in a conventional pharmacy. Active use of internet and purchases of medicines online were factors connected to higher satisfaction with online dispensing services. Most online pharmacy customers had also visited conventional pharmacies. The results from this study can be utilized in the development of online and other pharmacy services.