A pharmacist-led medication switch protocol in an academic HIV clinic: Patient knowledge and satisfaction

Sarah S. Lee, Joshua P. Havens, Harlan R. Sayles, Jennifer L. O'Neill, Anthony T. Podany, Susan Swindells, Kimberly K. Scarsi, Sara H. Bares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) is associated with less renal and bone toxicity compared with tenofovir disoproxil (TDF). TAF's recent FDA approval has spurred HIV providers to consider switching antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens containing TDF to TAF to minimize long term risks. Patient views on the process of such medication switches have not been explored. Methods: Patients taking elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (E/C/F/TDF) following the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (E/C/F/TAF) received medication education from an HIV pharmacist prior to switching to the tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) formulation. Patients were asked to complete a cross-sectional survey assessing satisfaction with the switch process and knowledge about the new medication 4 to 8 weeks post-switch. Results: Sixty five patients completed the switch and 57 (88%) completed a follow-up survey. Most (86%) reported understanding why the switch was made, while 91% correctly identified that TAF is associated with reduced renal toxicity, and 73% correctly identified that TAF is associated with reduced bone toxicity. No statistically significant difference was found in satisfaction with or understanding of why the medication switch was made when assessed by sex, age, race, or education, but there was a trend toward significance in the distribution of answers based on education level with those with a high school diploma, General Educational Development (GED) or less being more likely to be satisfied with the medication switch (p = 0.074). Conclusions: Education from an ambulatory clinic-based HIV pharmacist resulted in high rates of patient satisfaction and understanding of the switch from TDF to TAF-containing ART.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number310
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 6 2018


  • HIV infection
  • Medication switch
  • Patient knowledge and attitudes
  • Pharmacist
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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