Title

Consumers' expectations and experiences with chain community pharmacies in Lahore, Pakistan: A qualitative exploratory study

Document Type

Article

Department

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Abstract

Background: The model of community pharmacy practice is changing remarkably not only in the West but also in developing countries, which has led retail pharmacies to transform into chain community pharmacies. However, very little is known about consumers' expectations and experiences with chain community pharmacies in developing countries.
Objective: This study aims to assess the expectations and experiences of consumers with services provided by chain community pharmacies in Lahore, Pakistan. Setting Four random chain community pharmacies.
Methods: A qualitative study design was employed and face-to-face, audio-recorded, interviews were conducted with 12 consumers attending 4 randomly selected chain community pharmacies. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and the interview data were analysed thematically using NVivo® software. Main outcome measure Consumers' expectations and experiences with chain community pharmacies.
Results: The results contributed to a deeper understanding of the consumers' expectations and experiences with the services provided by chain community pharmacies. Six themes emerged from interview data including; access to pharmacists, quality use of medicines, range of distinct services, staff's behaviour, inventory management, and scope of services. The consumers reported that pharmacists working in chain community pharmacies were building trusting relationships and encouraging them to take an active role in healthcare. Pharmacists working there were providing them medication information and counselling services, which they normally do not expect from traditional pharmacies. Consumers mentioned that they had access to pharmacists and quality services, but the inventory of pharmacies was limited.
Conclusions: This exploratory study provides preliminary evidence that some of the consumers' expectations and experiences were aligned. However, some deficiencies were highlighted by the consumers that need to be addressed by relevant stakeholders. Further research is needed to assess the expectations and experiences of pharmacists working in the chain community pharmacy sector.

Publication

International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

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