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Abstract

EXPANDED ROLES OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS IN SUDAN: CONSUMERS’ NEEDS AND PERCEPTIONS

*Adil Abd Elrahman Mahmoud, Abdulazim Ahmed Ali, Sumia Sir-Elkhatim Mohamed 

ABSTRACT

Background: Consumers’ views about the current and new services to be provided to them by community pharmacists are essential in improving the type of care given. Objectives: To investigate consumers’ relationship with community pharmacists and their views about new services. Settings: Community pharmacies in Khartoum State. Method: A structured, self-administered, piloted questionnaire was distributed to two consumers visiting each 274 randomly chosen pharmacies. Results: Response rate was 50 % (274/548). 54.6% of consumers visited community pharmacy more than once in a month but do not always use the same pharmacy . Selection of the community pharmacy was based on: provision of good advice (86.8%), availability of medicines (85.2%) and willingness to talk to consumers (71.1%). Most of the respondents visited community pharmacy for purchasing prescription medicines (84.3%) and non-prescription medicines (70.9%). Community pharmacist was cited as the second preference (22.3%), after the doctor (72.6%), for advice in health problems. The majority of the respondents considered the pharmacist a health professional, contacted the pharmacist for advice in health conditions during the last 12 months, find it easy to approach the pharmacist. About half of respondents will seek advice of the pharmacist in drug misuse. Only a few respondents consult the pharmacist in smoking cessation,contraception,weight/healthy diet and disease prevention. Most of the respondents received an acceptable advice and counseling from the pharmacist ,with less use of written materials, and they showed a positive attitudes towards application of pharmaceutical care. Consumers’ priorities for new services were: medication review , screening for blood pressure, consultation room and blood glucose testing. Drug related problems reported were related to high medicines expenses and medication adherence. Conclusion: Sudanese community pharmacy’ consumers appreciated the current role of the community pharmacists ; but they were looking for further new expanded services. Impact of findings on practice  Community pharmacists’ integration in primary health care programs is required.  Practice standards for involvement in expanded services are urgently needed.

Keywords: Community pharmacy, consumers' perceptions, pharmaceutical care, Sudan.


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