Pharmacist views and pharmacy capacity to deliver professional services in the United Arab Emirates
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Background The benefits of professional pharmacy services in improving patient outcomes and reducing health expenditure are well documented. To a large extent, these services are not implemented in many developing countries. Objective To explore pharmacists’ perceptions of and willingness to provide professional services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the perceived barriers and facilitators. The current provision of pharmacy-based services and capacity for service delivery were also explored. Setting Community pharmacies in Sharjah and Dubai in the UAE. Methods A 34-item cross-sectional survey was conducted. It assessed community pharmacists’ perceptions of and willingness to provide professional services in the future, current service provision and capacity to deliver professional services. A descriptive analysis of responses was undertaken. Main outcome measure Community pharmacists' perceptions of and willingness to provide pharmacy-based professional services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and associated barriers and facilitators. Results Overall, 200 community pharmacists completed the survey. Ninety-two percent of participants thought that it is time for community pharmacists to engage in extended services (screening, medication use reviews, and chronic disease management) provided that adequate training and regulatory approvals are given. The current restrictive legislations and negative public perception were perceived as major barriers to providing extended services, but lack of time and support staff were also considered barriers. Conclusions Community pharmacists held strong positive views regarding future engagement in professional services. Given the compelling public health case for expansion of affordable care, it is timely to expand health services in the UAE by using the untapped clinical skills of pharmacists. Transition towards professional pharmacy services requires support from key stakeholders including medical and regulatory organizations, and public acceptance.
KeywordsCommunity pharmacy Community pharmacy services Perceptions Pharmacist United Arab Emirates Views
The authors are grateful to all participating pharmacists for sharing insights into the possibility of expanding pharmacy-based health services. The authors gratefully acknowledge Ms. Rania Adnan Atom, Ms. Tasneem Basim Al-Hamidi, and Mr. Bakri Omar Sawas for devoting their time and efforts towards data collection.
Conflicts of interest
All the authors have read and approved the manuscript. The authors declare that they have no financial or other competing interests in relation to their work.
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