Pharmacist supply of sildenafil: pharmacists’ experiences and perceptions on training and tools for supply


Background In 2014, New Zealand reclassified sildenafil (for erectile dysfunction) to allow supply by specially trained pharmacists under strict criteria. Objective The study aimed to determine pharmacists’ experiences and perspectives on the training for, and supply of sildenafil under this model. Setting New Zealand community pharmacy. Method This qualitative study captured data with a semi-structured interview used with purposively-sampled participants. A maximum variation sample was used to select a wide range of pharmacists working in various pharmacies, including pharmacists who were trained to provide sildenafil and those not trained to supply sildenafil. Consenting pharmacists were interviewed, with interviews audio-recorded and transcribed. Analysis used a framework approach. Main outcome measures Topics explored included: satisfaction and experience of the training; suitability and usability of the screening tools; experiences of the supply process and why some pharmacists chose not to become trained. Results Thirty-five pharmacists were interviewed. Training was seen as uncomplicated and the screening tools provided confidence that key consultation areas were covered. Most consultations reportedly took 15–20 min, some up to 60 min. Pharmacists reported being comfortable with the consultations. Many men requesting supply fell outside of the parameters, resulting in medical referral. This new model of supply was seen as a positive for pharmacists and their patients. Unaccredited pharmacists reported a perceived lack of interest from men, or ability to provide the service as reasons for not seeking accreditation. Conclusion New Zealand’s model of pharmacist supply of sildenafil appears workable with some areas for improvement identified.

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Correspondence to Rhiannon Braund.

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Conflicts of interest

NG works on widening access to medicines through reclassification, and has consulted to industry on reclassification of erectile dysfunction medicines, including receiving consulting fees from Douglas Pharmaceuticals for the reclassification of sildenafil in New Zealand. The rest of the authors have nothing to declare.

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Braund, R., Ratnayake, K., Tong, K. et al. Pharmacist supply of sildenafil: pharmacists’ experiences and perceptions on training and tools for supply. Int J Clin Pharm 40, 650–658 (2018).

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  • Community pharmacy services
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • New Zealand
  • Pharmacist’s training
  • Reclassification
  • Sildenafil