Medication use review in Qatar: Are community pharmacists prepared for the extended professional role?
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Background The incidence of chronic illnesses is increasing globally. Non-adherence to medications and other medication-related problems are common among patients receiving long-term medications. Medication use review (MUR) is a service provision with an accredited pharmacist undertaking structured, adherence-centered reviews with patients receiving multiple medications. MUR services are not yet available in community pharmacies in Qatar. Objective The current study aims to evaluate community pharmacists’ knowledge, attitudes, and perception towards establishing MUR as an extended role in patient care. Setting Private community pharmacies in Qatar including chains and independent pharmacies. Methodology A cross-sectional survey using a self-administered questionnaire was conducted among licensed community pharmacists from December 2012 to January 2013. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive and inferential statistics. Main outcome measures Knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to MUR concept and services. Results A total of 123 participants responded to the survey (response rate 56 %). The mean total knowledge score was 71.4 ± 14.7 %. An overwhelming proportion of the participants (97 %) were able to identify the scope of MUR in relation to chronic illnesses and at enhancing the quality of pharmaceutical care. Furthermore, 80 % of the respondents were able to identify patients of priority for inclusion in an MUR program. However, only 43 % of the participants knew that acute medical conditions were not the principal focus of an MUR service, while at least 97 % acknowledged that the provision of MUR services is a great opportunity for an extended role of community pharmacists and that MUR makes excellent use of the pharmacist’s professional skills in the community. The participants generally reported concerns about time, dedicated consultation area, and support staff as significant barriers towards MUR implementation. Conclusion This study suggests that community pharmacists in Qatar had sufficient knowledge about the concept of MUR and its scope, but there were still important deficiencies that warrant further education. The findings have important implications on policy and practice pertaining to the implementation of MUR as an extended role of pharmacists and as part of Qatar’s National Health Strategy to move primary health care forward.
KeywordsCommunity pharmacist Medication use review MUR Pharmaceutical services Professional role Qatar
The authors would like to thank all community pharmacists who voluntarily participated in the study.
This study received no funding from any public or private entity. The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no competing interests to declare.
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