General practitioners' perceptions about the extended roles of the community pharmacists in the state of Karnataka: A study
JSS College of Pharmacy, SS Nagara, Mysore-570 015, India
R Adepu JSS College of Pharmacy, SS Nagara, Mysore-570 015 India E-mail: [email protected]
In developed countries, professional relationships between the prescribers and pharmacists are good due to the professional services offered by the pharmacists. Many researchers have found that, prescribers are in favour of the new extended roles of practising pharmacists as patient counsellors and drug information providers. In India, professional relationships between the prescribers and pharmacists require becoming strong in the interest of profession and patient care. The present study is aimed at analysing the general practitioners' perception and expectations from practising community pharmacists in four district headquarters of Karnataka. The study was conducted through convenient sampling method using a well-designed 14-item questionnaire to collect the opinions from the respondents. Likert scale was employed to assess the responses. One hundred and fifteen general practitioners have participated in the study. The respondents opined that only qualified pharmacists should run the pharmacies (4.73). Although the present D. Pharm qualification is sufficient to run the pharmacies (3.55), to meet the present health care demands, B. Pharm or M. Pharm is a must (3.86). Pharmacists are considered as a part of health care team (3.43) and should be located within the medical practice (3.82) and accepted as professional partner (3.30). Coming to the question of extended roles, some respondents have mentioned that pharmacists should check the legality and drug interactions in the prescriptions (3.20) and provide the necessary drug information. However, the respondents were against the pharmacist-run diabetic and anticoagulant clinics and against pharmacists prescribing cost-effective suggestions. Age has shown significant influence only on few opinions, whereas experience of the respondents has shown significant influence on majority of the opinions. Many respondents expressed positive opinion about the extended roles of the pharmacists but said the success mainly depends upon the improved knowledge base and effective communication skills.