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Comparison of factors influencing patient choice of community pharmacy in Poland and in the UK, and identification of components of pharmaceutical care

Authors Merks P, Kaźmierczak J, Olszewska A, Kołtowska-Häggström M

Received 31 August 2013

Accepted for publication 22 February 2014

Published 14 May 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 715—726


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Piotr Merks,1 Justyna Kazmierczak,2 Aleksandra Elzbieta Olszewska,3 Maria Koltowska-Häggström4

1Department of Pharmaceutical Care, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland; 2Department of Hygiene, Bioanalysis and Environmental Studies, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland; 3Department of Pharmacy, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals National Health Service Trust, Guildford Road, Chertsey, Surrey, United Kingdom; 4Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Background: Several factors, which are components of pharmaceutical care, can influence a patient’s choice of a community pharmacy store and contribute to frequent visits to the same pharmacy.
Objectives: To compare factors that influence a patient’s choice of pharmacy in Poland and in the UK, to identify which of them are components of pharmaceutical care, and to relate them to patient loyalty to the same pharmacy.
Methods: A self-administered, anonymous questionnaire was distributed to clients visiting pharmacies in Poland and the UK January–August 2011. Comparisons were performed using chi-square tests and logistic regression. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 20.0.
Results: The response rate was 55.6% (n=417/750; 36 pharmacies) and 54.0% (n=405/750; 56 pharmacies) in Poland and in the UK, respectively. The most frequently reported factors, as defined by a percentage of responders, were in Poland: 1) location (84%); 2) professional and high-quality of service (82%); 3) good price of medicines (78%); and 4) promotions on medicines (66%). In the UK, the most commonly reported factors were: 1) professional and high quality of service (90%); 2) location (89%); 3) good advice received from the pharmacist (86%); and 4) option of discussing and consulting all health issues in a consultation room (80%). Good advice and an option of discussing personal concerns with a pharmacist are components of pharmaceutical care. Thirty-eight percent of patients in Poland and 61% in the UK declared visiting the same pharmacy.
Conclusion: Components of pharmaceutical care are important factors influencing the patient’s choice of pharmacy in the UK and, to a lesser degree, in Poland. Additionally, more patients in the UK than in Poland are committed to a single pharmacy. Therefore, implementing the full pharmaceutical care in Poland may contribute to an increase in patient loyalty and thus strengthen competitiveness of pharmacy businesses.

Keywords: pharmacy choice, patient’s preferences, pharmaceutical care, patient-reported outcomes (PRO), health care system

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