Extended Roles of Community Pharmacists in Addis Ababa: Extent of Use and Publics’ Perceptions
The present study was conducted to determine the extent of publics’ visit to community pharmacies and perception on their extended roles in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A community based cross-sectional study was conducted using semi-structured questionnaire to collect information from households. Sixty-six percent of the respondents had made at least one visit to the community pharmacies in four weeks recall period preceding the interview date. Most of the respondents visited community pharmacies for purchasing prescription and non-prescription medicines, 88.7% and 43.3%, respectively. More than a quarter of respondents reported that they visited community pharmacies seeking advice from the pharmacists. Location (85%), service quality (36%) and availability of wide range of products (37%) were identified as major contributing factors for respondents’ loyalty to a particular community pharmacy. Majority of the respondents gave approval to the possible extended roles of community pharmacists, particularly blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose screening; immunization, chronic disease management and related counseling services. Publics’ frequent access and acceptance of potential extended roles of community pharmacists indicate that community pharmacies could be ideal place for early detection, screening, referral and follow up stable or refill clients for chronic diseases and management of self limiting illnesses and in assisting therapeutic drug monitoring for patients with chronic conditions.
Keywords: community pharmacist, community’s perception, extended roles, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia