Pharmacy Services beyond the Basics: A Qualitative Study to Explore Perspectives of Pharmacists towards Basic and Enhanced Pharmacy Services in Pakistan

Muhammad Atif, Wajiha Razzaq, Irem Mushtaq, Iram Malik, Madiha Razzaq, Shane Scahill, Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar

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Enhanced pharmacy services have been identified as a mechanism to address medicines and drug-related problems. The aim of the study was to explore the perspectives of practicing pharmacists on the scope of pharmacy service provision in Pakistan. This qualitative study was conducted at the Department of Pharmacy, the Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB). Face-to-face, in-depth interviews were conducted with practicing pharmacists at the university who were undertaking postgraduate studies. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using thematic analysis. A total of 13 pharmacists were interviewed. The analysis of data yielded four themes and 12 subthemes. The themes included the current scenario of pharmacy services, the benefits of pharmacy services, barriers to implementation of pharmacy services, and strategies to improve their delivery. Pharmacist participants reported that patient-oriented pharmacy services have not been properly implemented in Pakistan. Pharmacists appear to be undertaking only conventional roles at various levels within the healthcare system. The participants indicated multiple benefits of patient-oriented pharmacy services, including safe and effective use of medicines, minimization of drug-related problems, and financial benefits to the healthcare system. Based on the findings, policy-makers are required to take the necessary steps to overcome pharmacist-related and policy-related barriers associated with the implementation of patient-oriented pharmacy services in Pakistan.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2379
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Early online date31 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


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