The objective of this qualitative study was to explore how the medicine sales staff responded to presumptive COVID-19 patients in Pakistan. The data were obtained from the medicine sales staff working at drug retail outlets of Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan, through in-depth face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured interview guide. A two-step sampling strategy was used, including purposive and convenient sampling techniques. Sample size was determined by applying the saturation point criteria. A total of 17 interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the thematic analysis. Analysis of data yielded six themes and seven sub-themes. The themes included (1) knowledge about various aspects of COVID-19, (2) practices of sales staff in response to COVID-19 pandemic, (3) attitude of sales staff towards COVID-19 pandemic, (4) services offered to presumptive COVID-19 patients, (5) challenges encountered during pandemic and (6) suggestions to improve delivery of pharmacy services by sales staff. In Pakistan, non-pharmacist sales staff had superficial knowledge about COVID-19. Presumptive COVID-19 patients were provided with only basic pharmacy services. Professional training is advised among pharmacy sales staff as a short-term solution to improve their knowledge. As a long-term goal, the availability of pharmacists at drug retail outlets is warranted.
|Number of pages
|International Journal of Health Planning and Management
|Early online date
|13 Aug 2021
|Published - 1 Nov 2021