Perspectives of community pharmacists in Pakistan about practice change and implementation of extended pharmacy services: a mixed method study

Furqan Khurshid Hashmi, Mohamed Azmi Hassali, Fahad Saleem, Hamid Saeed, Muhammad Islam, Usman Rashid Malik, Naveel Atif, Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Community pharmacists’ role in the primary health care, patient-centered services, beyond traditional dispensing services is well established in the developed world. However, this role is not fully established in low-middle-income countries including Pakistan. Objective To explore community pharmacists’ perspectives and preparedness about practice change and associated facilitators and barriers to extended services. Setting A study was conducted involving community pharmacists of Lahore, Pakistan. Method Two phased studies were conducted using mixed-method sequential design. The first phase involved qualitative semi-structured face-to-face interviews with the community pharmacists, while the second phase constituted a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study. Main outcome measure Pharmacists’ perspectives about extended pharmacy services, facilitators, barriers and preparedness for the practice change. Results For the first phase, pharmacists were purposively sampled and the saturation yielded a final sample size of fifteen pharmacists (N = 15). The thematic content analysis yielded four distinct themes; (1) current practices and familiarity with extended pharmacy services (2) practice gap between Pakistan and the developed countries (3) facilitators and the preparedness, and (4) barriers towards its implementation and provision. The second part was a questionnaire-based cross-sectional phase, where a total of 348 community pharmacists were approached, while only 242 responded, yielding a response rate of 69.5%. The triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data identified several barriers such as; shortage of pharmacists, lack of knowledge and skills, poor collaboration with general practitioners, failure of customers to pay for extended services. Facilitators and preparedness for the provision of extended pharmacy services were; access to patient notes, follow-up, separate counselling areas, accreditation of specific services and sufficient resources. Conclusion This study’s findings call for the implementation and enforcement of Punjab Drug Sale Rules 2007 to facilitate the practice change and provision of comprehensive pharmacy services in Punjab, Pakistan. There is a need for additional laws to define community pharmacists’ roles, uniform job description, training, new funding model, separate area, and accreditation of extended pharmacy services in Pakistan.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Early online date7 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jan 2021

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