Qualitative interviews regarding pharmacist prescribing in the community setting

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Abstract

Purpose

The perceived demand for and barriers to pharmacist prescribing in the community pharmacy setting were studied.

Methods

Qualitative interviews were conducted with 19 consumers, 20 community pharmacists, and 8 reimbursement decision-makers from payer organizations between April and June 2015. Respondents were invited to participate in a daylong interview process online. Interviews with consumers and pharmacists were conducted using online bulletin board technology. Telephone interviews were conducted with reimbursement decision-makers. As with all qualitative research, the sample sizes used were restrictive and sufficient to gauge the perceptions of those respondents only. Interview responses were not intended to be generalizable to the groups or populations from which the respondents came.

Results

There was a continuum of interest in pharmacist prescribing across the three constituencies. Consumers were predominantly resistant to the notion; however, one third were more positive about the idea. Community pharmacists were more open, particularly when prescribing was restricted to a limited set of conditions or medications. Reimbursement decision-makers were most receptive to the notion. Key barriers to pharmacist prescribing included low awareness of current pharmacist prescribing authority among consumers, concerns about the adequacy of pharmacist training, potential conflicts of interest when the prescriber was also a dispenser, and potential liability issues.

Conclusion

Consumer respondents were generally resistant to the notion of pharmacist prescribing, with most viewing pharmacists as dispensers and not prescribers. Community pharmacists were more open to the idea, while reimbursement decision-makers were the most receptive to the notion of pharmacist prescribing.

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