Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

Changing perspectives of the role of community pharmacists: 1998 – 2012

Linda Bryant 1 , Joanne Maney 2 , Nataly Martini 2
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

1 Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

2 School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

Correspondence to: Nataly Martini, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private bag 92019, Auckland 1010, New Zealand. Email: n.martini@auckland.ac.nz

Journal of Primary Health Care 9(1) 34-46 https://doi.org/10.1071/HC16032
Published: 10 February 2017

Journal Compilation © Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners 2017.
This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: In New Zealand, extended medicines management roles proposed for pharmacists include the optimisation and monitoring of medicines in patients with long-term conditions through greater collaboration with general practitioners (GPs). Although some collaborative roles have been successfully implemented in hospitals, barriers for both pharmacists and GPs hinder interprofessional working relationships in the community.

AIM: To compare data from a 2012 study with two previous studies (1998, 2002) examining perceptions of community pharmacists and GPs of the expanding medicines management roles of community pharmacists.

METHODS: In 2012, a survey, modelled on the 1998 and 2002 studies, was sent to 600 community pharmacists and 600 GPs. Analyses considered the five-point Likert scale to be a continuous variable. A change of ≥ 10% between any two surveys indicated a relevant change for comparison.

RESULTS: Increasing agreement, which differed considerably between professions, was apparent for most expanding medicine management roles over the 14 study years. In all three studies, pharmacists were open to expanding their roles to include monitoring, screening, advisory and prescribing roles. GPs were most accepting of the traditional dispensing role with a positive shift towards pharmacists’ involvement in medicines management over time.

DISCUSSION: Over 14 years, GPs became more accepting of community pharmacists’ involvement in extended medicines management roles, although still had low acceptance of the more clinical roles. Pharmacists considered increased involvement in medicines management as their role, but appeared to lack confidence in their ability to do this role.

KEYWORDS: Pharmacy services; general practitioners; primary health care; workforce


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