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Patient opinions on medicine-use review: exploring an expanding role of community pharmacists

Authors Aimaurai S, Jumpated A, Krass I, Dhippayom T

Received 10 January 2017

Accepted for publication 14 March 2017

Published 10 April 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 751—760


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Sirinya Aimaurai,1 Atthapinya Jumpated,1 Ines Krass,2 Teerapon Dhippayom1

1Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand; 2Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Background: Current evidence supports the benefit of medicine-use review (MUR) for the safe and effective use of medicines. However, little is known about opinions of consumers regarding their preference for undertaking MUR, especially in the developing world, eg, in some Asian countries. We aimed to explore patients’ opinions about potential MUR and other enhanced services provided by community pharmacists.
Patients and methods: A qualitative study using focus groups was conducted at Naresuan University’s community pharmacy, Phitsanulok, Thailand. MUR-naïve patients were recruited from two pharmacies in Phitsanulok. All focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed, and thematically analyzed.
Results: Twenty participants attended four focus groups. The following themes were identified: 1) requirement and need for the service, 2) accessibility and convenience of receiving the service, 3) pharmacist attributes needed in delivering the service, and 4) how to promote the use of MUR successfully. The majority of participants had poor understanding about their medicines and were interested in receiving a MUR service. Regarding accessibility, convenience and close proximity of pharmacies to homes were deemed to be supportive of participants to use the service. However, several potential barriers to uptake were identified: perceived difficulty on the part of recipients in making time to receive the service and the inconvenience of having to provide medicines/records of medicines to pharmacists. The following domains of pharmacists’ characteristics were viewed as supportive determinants: personality (friendliness and confidence in giving information) and attitude (willingness to provide the service and not commercially oriented). The participants suggested that promoting the services using a mix of strategies would increase an awareness of MUR service.
Conclusion: Recognizing the unmet needs of patients for information on their medicines provides a good opportunity for community pharmacists to offer an MUR service to ensure quality use of medicines in the community.

Keywords: medicine-use review, pharmacy service, community pharmacy, community pharmacist, preference

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