Burning questions: exploring the impact of natural disasters on community pharmacies

Mak, Pey Wen and Singleton, Judith (2016) Burning questions: exploring the impact of natural disasters on community pharmacies. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 13 1: 162-171. doi:10.1016/j.sapharm.2015.12.015

Author Mak, Pey Wen
Singleton, Judith
Title Burning questions: exploring the impact of natural disasters on community pharmacies
Journal name Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1551-7411
Publication date 2016-01-09
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.sapharm.2015.12.015
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 13
Issue 1
Start page 162
End page 171
Total pages 10
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: The past decade has seen a rapid change in the climate system with an increased risk of extreme weather events. On and following the 3rd of January 2013, Tasmania experienced three catastrophic bushfires, which led to the evacuation of several communities, the loss of many properties, and a financial cost of approximately AUD$80 million.

Objective: To explore the impacts of the 2012/2013 Tasmanian bushfires on community pharmacies.

Method: Qualitative research methods were undertaken, employing semi-structured telephone interviews with a purposive sample of seven Tasmanian pharmacists. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and two different methods were used to analyze the text. The first method utilized Leximancer® text analytics software to provide a birds-eye view of the conceptual structure of the text. The second method involved manual, open and axial coding, conducted independently by the two researchers for inter-rater reliability, to identify key themes in the discourse.

Results: Two main themes were identified - 'people' and 'supply' - from which six key concepts were derived. The six concepts were 'patients,' 'pharmacists,' 'local doctor,' 'pharmacy operations,' 'disaster management planning,' and 'emergency supply regulation.'.

Conclusion: This study identified challenges faced by community pharmacists during Tasmanian bushfires. Interviewees highlighted the need for both the Tasmanian State Government and the Australian Federal Government to recognize the important primary care role that community pharmacists play during natural disasters, and therefore involve pharmacists in disaster management planning. They called for greater support and guidance for community pharmacists from regulatory and other government bodies during these events. Their comments highlighted the need for a review of Tasmania's three-day emergency supply regulation that allows pharmacists to provide a three-day supply of a patient's medication without a doctor's prescription in an emergency situation.
Keyword Bushfire
Community pharmacy
Disaster management
Disaster planning
Emergency supply
Medication management pathway
Medicines supply
Natural disasters
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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