Patient Counseling; Practicing Community Pharmacists' Perceptions From Two South Indian States
Patients often due to lack of proper information on medication usage, fail to adhere to their medication. This leads to failure of achieving therapeutic goals and decreased quality of life. In developed countries, pharmacists take the responsibility of patient counselling. In India, pharmacists are silent in taking up the counselling responsibility. The prescribers due to heavy patient load are not in a position to spend enough time in educating the patient about their medication. Now the question remains, who actually should take the responsibility of patient counselling? Many professional organisations like International Pharmaceutical Federation, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, and Royal Pharmaceutical society of Great Britain stress that patient counselling is pharmacist's responsibility. The present study was conducted to assess the pharmacists' opinion about the responsibility of patient counselling. The work was carried out in Karnataka and Kerala states. The respondents from Karnataka state opined that, patient counselling is shared responsibility of both doctor and pharmacist, 'where as respondents from Kerala mentioned that, patient counselling is pharmacist's responsibility. Age, professional education (Education Regulation-81 and 91 and B. Pharm.) and experience have shown influence on the responses. Young pharmacists responded that patient counselling is their responsibility. Major barriers to counselling were identified as doctor dispensing, lack of knowledge, and non legalisation of patient counselling.