Dispensing practice in the community pharmacies in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
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Background Good Pharmacy Practice is the process of supplying the accurate drug to the right patient for an adequate period of time with the lowest cost to the patient and the community. Pharmacist have a crucial role in promoting good pharmacy practice. Objective To assess the dispensing practice of the community pharmacists in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) regarding RDU and to evaluate the quality of dispensing. Setting Community pharmacies in TRNC. Method The study consists of two parts: a face to face interview and a simulated patient visit to these pharmacies. Main outcomes measure Rationality indicators (average dispensing time, stock availability and adequate labelling), presence of the pharmacist on the premises, dispenser characteristics, prescription checking, and the provided patient information. Results The majority of the prescriptions (73.3%) were dispensed by the pharmacists. None of the pharmacy employees had pharmacy based training. Eighty nine percent of the pharmacists believed that their employees could very well dispense drugs on their own. The declared average dispensing time for a prescription of a single drug was 233 s while the measured one was 149 s. Few dispensers in reality warned the patient about potential interactions. The difference between the average dispensing scores of the pharmacists and the non-pharmacist dispensers was not significant. Conclusions The dispensing practice in the community pharmacies in the Turkish part of Cyprus seems inadequate in terms of GPP.