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Do Community Pharmacies in Saudi Arabia Provide Medication-Related Information to Nonbuyers? A Mysterious Shopper Survey

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DOI: 10.4236/pp.2019.104015    207 Downloads   510 Views

ABSTRACT

Background: Patient counseling service is an integral component of pharmacy practice in the community pharmacy. Counseling services should be provided to patients regardless of whether the patient has the intention to buy a medication or not. Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of the conflict between ethics and business objectives in Saudi Arabian private community pharmacies on patient counseling. Methods: Eighty pharmacies were randomly selected in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, and visited by mysterious shoppers following a preplanned scenario. Clients requested information on the correct use of a dry powder inhaler for bronchial asthma. A survey form was filled in by the clients immediately after the visit. Results: seventy-five pharmacies were included in the study. Seventy-seven percent of the pharmacists gave a varying content of information although the client showed no intention to buy the medication. Only 5% of pharmacists gave the full instructions regarding the correct handling of the device and using it for taking the correct dose. Around 68% of the pharmacists focused only on how to take the dose. Four percent of the pharmacists provided insufficient information. Around 23% of the pharmacists refused to give any information and referred the shopper to other sources for obtaining the required information. Conclusions: Although most of the pharmacists provided free counseling, the amount and level of information provided were generally insufficient. This illustrates the need for introducing clear policies and guidelines for providing free professional counseling services to patients in the community pharmacy setting in Saudi Arabia.

Cite this paper

Khojah, H. and Abdalla, A. (2019) Do Community Pharmacies in Saudi Arabia Provide Medication-Related Information to Nonbuyers? A Mysterious Shopper Survey. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 10, 169-176. doi: 10.4236/pp.2019.104015.

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