Evaluation of the Perception of Community Pharmacists Regarding their Role in Pakistan's Healthcare System: A Qualitative Approach

  • S Azhar
  • MA Hassali
  • A Taha
  • SA Khan
  • G Murtaza
  • I Hussain
Keywords: Perception, Community pharmacist, Patient care, Pakistan, Qualitative methodology.


Purpose: To explore the perception of community pharmacists regarding their role in Pakistan's healthcare system.
Methods: A qualitative study design was adopted. A semi-structured interview guide was developed and face to face interviews were conducted. The participants were community pharmacists and were recruited through one of the researcher’s personal contacts in two cities of Pakistan (Islamabad and Lahore) from April to June 2008. The interviews were conducted at the pharmacists’ work-place. Arrangements for the time and place of interview were made during initial contacts. Written consent was obtained from the participants prior to the interview.
Results: Among the respondents interviewed, seven were male and three female community pharmacists aged between 25 and 50 years. All the participants regularly dispensed > 50 prescriptions daily. Thematic content analysis yielded 5 major themes: (a) provision of pharmacy services to consumers, (b) counseling at pharmacy, (c) application of Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP), (d) Pakistan Pharmacy Association (PPA) contribution towards pharmacy profession, and (e) strategies to improve community pharmacies.
Conclusion: Community pharmacies in Pakistan currently face shortage of pharmacists. This has resulted in non-provision of patient counseling; rather services are more focused more on the management of pharmacies than clients. As a result, there is little public awareness of the pharmacist’s role in health care.

Keywords: Perception, Community pharmacist, Patient care, Pakistan, Qualitative methodology.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996