An Attempt To Develop Community Pharmacy Practice : Results Of Two Surveys And Two Workshops Conducted Tamilnadu
For the past ten years, many individuals and institutions in lndia have recognized the importance of community pharmacists towards patient care in addition to their traditional role as drug dispensers. The purpose of this study is to investigate the current dispensing practices in various areas within a district of Tamilnadu, to identify the deficiencies vis-Ã -vis regulatory requirements and the interventions needed to enhance the image and status of community pharmacy practice. A surveillance study was performed in two phases. The person in-charge of a pharmacy was approached with a questionnaire and data on dispensing practices were collected through a structured interview. Workshops were conducted to provide interventions that have been identified during survey, to retail pharmacists who volunteered to participate in the workshops. The knowledge gained on completion of the workshop was assessed. The study found about 50% of the pharmacies function without pharmacists. Fifty eight percent pharmacists dispense prescription drugs without prescription. More than 80% of the retail pharmacists were not aware of rational drug use and have not even heard about transdermal patches. The retail pharmacists rarely counsel patients and examine the prescription for medical errors. Improvement in knowledge occurred among workshop attendees after the workshop. Guidelines have been compiled, which when implemented gradually, may provide impetus to community pharmacists in this area to perform the task of providing pharmaceutical services in a better and professional way.