Health care consumers’ perspectives on pharmacist integration into private general practitioner clinics in Malaysia: a qualitative study

Saw, Pui San, Nissen, Lisa M., Freeman, Christopher, Wong, Pei Se and Mak, Vivienne (2015) Health care consumers’ perspectives on pharmacist integration into private general practitioner clinics in Malaysia: a qualitative study. Patient Preference and Adherence, 9 467-477. doi:10.2147/PPA.S73953

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Author Saw, Pui San
Nissen, Lisa M.
Freeman, Christopher
Wong, Pei Se
Mak, Vivienne
Title Health care consumers’ perspectives on pharmacist integration into private general practitioner clinics in Malaysia: a qualitative study
Journal name Patient Preference and Adherence   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1177-889X
Publication date 2015-03-19
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2147/PPA.S73953
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Start page 467
End page 477
Total pages 11
Place of publication Macclesfield, United Kingdom
Publisher Dove Medical Press
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Pharmacists are considered medication experts but are underutilized and exist mainly at the periphery of the Malaysian primary health care team. Private general practitioners (GPs) in Malaysia are granted rights under the Poison Act 1952 to prescribe and dispense medications at their primary care clinics. As most consumers obtain their medications from their GPs, community pharmacists’ involvement in ensuring safe use of medicines is limited. The integration of a pharmacist into private GP clinics has the potential to contribute to quality use of medicines. This study aims to explore health care consumers’ views on the integration of pharmacists within private GP clinics in Malaysia.

Methods: A purposive sample of health care consumers in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were invited to participate in focus groups and semi-structured interviews. Sessions were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed using NVivo 10.

Results: A total of 24 health care consumers participated in two focus groups and six semi-structured interviews. Four major themes were identified: 1) pharmacists’ role viewed mainly as supplying medications, 2) readiness to accept pharmacists in private GP clinics, 3) willingness to pay for pharmacy services, and 4) concerns about GPs’ resistance to pharmacist integration. Consumers felt that a pharmacist integrated into a private GP clinic could offer potential benefits such as to provide trustworthy information on the use and potential side effects of medications and screening for medication misadventure. The potential increase in costs passed on to consumers and GPs’ reluctance were perceived as barriers to integration.

Conclusion: This study provides insights into consumers’ perspectives on the roles of pharmacists within private GP clinics in Malaysia. Consumers generally supported pharmacist integration into private primary health care clinics. However, for pharmacists to expand their capacity in providing integrated and collaborative primary care services to consumers, barriers to pharmacist integration need to be addressed.
Keyword Pharmacist integration
Private clinic
General practitioners
Health care consumer
Malaysia
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Pharmacy Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 20 Mar 2015, 12:04:13 EST by Dr Christopher Freeman on behalf of School of Pharmacy