A Pilot Study Assessing the Barriers to Pharmacy Practice in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Purpose: To explore the barriers to the practice of pharmacy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Methods: In a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study, 50 questionnaires were distributed to
randomly selected pharmacies in Dubai. The questionnaire contained information for collecting data on demographic data, technical-related information, and barriers to optimized pharmaceutical services.
Results: A total of 31 of the 50 questionnaires were returned, giving a response rate of 62 percent. Of these, 20 (65 %) were male, 25 (81 %) holding bachelor degree, and almost three quarters 23 (74 %) were Indian and had their bachelor degree in India. More than half (n = 18, 59 %) reported that they functioned as pharmacists-in-charge and dispense more than 100 prescriptions in 1 business week during the study period. Enhanced pharmacy services offered by pharmacists under investigation were minimal for drug outcomes monitoring (9.68 %), counseling in hyperlipidaemia (6.45 %), and hypertension (9.68 %). A high proportion of pharmacists studied agreed that pharmacists lack customers' recognition in Dubai (54.8 %) and receive inadequate salary (67.8 %), and that pharmacy practice in Dubai is business-oriented (74.2 %). Nearly all the pharmacists (93.5 %) agreed that lack of sales bonus and high running costs are major barriers to optimized pharmacy services in Dubai.
Conclusion: This pilot study gives some insight into the impediments community pharmacists in Dubai face while delivering pharmacy services to patients. These findings can be used to promote discussion in the profession and with stakeholders about the future role of the community pharmacist in patient care in UAE.
Keywords: Barriers; Community pharmacy; Pharmacy practice; United Arab Emirates, Drug outcomes monitoring, Counseling