Perceptions of Dispensers Regarding Dispensing Practices in Pakistan: A Qualitative Study
AbstractPurpose: To explore the perceptions’ of dispensers regarding dispensing practices and the salient factors affecting dispensing practices in three major cities of Pakistan - Islamabad, Peshawar and Lahore.
Methods: A qualitative study with snowball sampling technique was used to identify fifteen dispensers working in community pharmacies in Islamabad, Peshawar and Lahore. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the dispensers until the point of saturation was obtained. The interviews which focused on three major components, namely dispensing practices, regulation and influencing factors, and suggestions for improvements were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim and analyzed.
Results: Thematic content analysis of the interview components yielded further seven major themes which were services provided at community pharmacies, quality of service provided by community pharmacies, expectation from community pharmacies, who was responsible for dispensing, obstacles to appropriate dispensing practices, laws and factors governing pharmacy practice in Pakistan, and strategies to improve current dispensing practices.
Conclusion: All respondents in the different cities agreed that there was a shortage of pharmacists leading to their roles being taken over by the non-professionally qualified personnel working in community pharmacies. They also agreed that implementation of laws governing pharmacy practice in Pakistan is weak. These two main factors were considered to be responsible for the low quality services provided at community pharmacies.
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