Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 940–946 | Cite as

Consumer satisfaction with opioid treatment services at community pharmacies in Australia

  • Toby LeaEmail author
  • Janie Sheridan
  • Adam Winstock
Research Article


Objective To explore consumer satisfaction with, and experiences of, a range of issues associated with the delivery of opioid substitution treatment at community pharmacies in New South Wales, Australia. Setting 50 community pharmacies providing opioid substitution treatment in New South Wales. Method Self-completion survey completed by 508 clients during supervised dosing. Main outcome measure Satisfaction with opioid substitution treatment delivery at community pharmacies. Results Sixty-one percent of participants reported being satisfied with their treatment programme. Participants expressed a high level of satisfaction with most aspects of opioid substitution treatment delivery at their pharmacy (aggregate mean = 8.1/10; 10 = excellent). However, participants were less satisfied with the level of privacy afforded at the pharmacy. Thirty-four percent reported that they were made to wait longer than other customers, and 25% reported that the pharmacy staff did not treat them the same as other customers. However, 87% reported that they felt welcomed by the pharmacy staff. Twenty-three percent of clients were currently in debt to the pharmacy for nonpayment of dispensing fees. The mean amount of current debt was $71.75, equivalent to approximately 2 weeks of pharmacy dispensing fees. Conclusion Community pharmacies providing opioid substitution treatment in New South Wales appear to be providing a level of service that is satisfactory to the clients of those services. However, many participants were concerned about a lack of privacy, the high cost of treatment, and being treated differently to other customers.


Australia Buprenorphine Community pharmacy Methadone Opioid dependence Opioid treatment Satisfaction 



We would like to thank the clients and community pharmacies who took the time to participate in this survey. This project would not have been possible without Annie Madden and Nicky Bath from the Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users’ League (AIVL), and Denis Leahy from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (NSW Branch).


This project was funded by a research grant from the NSW Department of Health

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sydney South West Area Health ServiceSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.National Drug and Alcohol Research CentreUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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