A Literature Review: Pharmaceutical Care an Evolving Role at Community Pharmacies in Pakistan


The aim of this paper is to highlight the role of pharmaceutical care at community pharmacies in Pakistan. The paper draws on the literature related to current dispensing practices at community pharmacies in developing countries as well as in Pakistan. There are approximately 63,000 community pharmacies in Pakistan, and according to an estimate, 80% of the medicines are being distributed through this channel to majority of the population. They often lack adequate facilities, staffing and equipments. Absence of pharmacists and their roles being performed by the non-qualified personnel working at community pharmacies are a common practice. There are 8102 pharmacists who are categorized as a category, 31,000 pharmacy technicians categorized in B & C category in the country. There is a shortage of pharmacists who could be engaged for ensuring good pharmacy practices. There are only ten percent of the total pharmacists who work at community pharmacies in the country according to the Pharmacy Council of Pakistan. All kind of medicines are freely available irrespective of their status as prescription or over the counter drugs. The paper highlights that the professional role of pharmacist in hospitals and community pharmacies is switching from dispensing and sale of drugs, to patient counselling. But, the concept of pharmaceutical care at community pharmacies has not been acknowledged yet in Pakistan. The process of prescription handling is poor and patients are often treated without a proper prescription. Prescription validation, drug labeling and patient counseling are the missing components in effective patient management at the community pharmacies. The paper concludes that although laws exist, but due to lack of accountability and weak regulatory framework their proper implementation is not witnessed. Moreover, due to lack of research and evidence related to problems in dispensing practices in healthcare system of Pakistan, the counteractive actions for resolving these problems are limited.

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A. Hussain, M. Malik and H. Toklu, "A Literature Review: Pharmaceutical Care an Evolving Role at Community Pharmacies in Pakistan," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 4 No. 5, 2013, pp. 425-430. doi: 10.4236/pp.2013.45060.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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