International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 1014–1020 | Cite as

Community pharmacists’ perceptions about pharmaceutical care of OTC western medicine: a survey in Harbin of China

  • Menghuan Song
  • Carolina Oi Lam Ung
  • Hao HuEmail author
  • Yitao Wang
Short Research Report


Background In China, increasingly OTC-western medicine is obtained at the community pharmacy. It is unknown which care the community pharmacists in China provides with such medicines. Objective This study investigated community pharmacists’ attitude, practice and perceived barriers about pharmaceutical care of over-the-counter western medicine. Moreover, community pharmacists’ suggestions of improvement measures were also collected. Methods Questionnaire survey targeting community pharmacist. Results Respondents generally showed positive attitude towards pharmaceutical care. About 30 % of the respondents reported that they provided pharmaceutical care “whenever necessary”, while about 40 % did it “as frequent as possible” or “to all consumers”. Respondents considered “ambiguity of the professional role of pharmacists” (50.7 %), “Lack of scientific evidence of over-the-counter western medicine” (42.9), and “Lack of time” (40.0 %) as the main barriers. The 3 most important improvement measures suggested were “Formulating or refining legislation to clarify the legal professional role of pharmacists with respect to western medicine” (63.2 %), “Promoting public education of pharmacist role” (50.7 %), and “Formulating or refining the standards of pharmacists’ practice with respect to western medicine” (50.7 %). Conclusion Community pharmacists in Harbin of China have a relatively positive attitude and intention to provide pharmaceutical care of OTC western medicine. However, lack of professional role definition, limited pharmaceutical knowledge and lack of human and financial resources limited the provision of pharmaceutical care by community pharmacists.


China Community pharmacist Over-the-counter Pharmaceutical care Western medicine 



The authors wish to thank all the participants of the study.


This study was supported by the funding from University of Macau (MYRG044 (Y1-L1)-ICMS12-HH; MYRG2015-00072-ICMS-QRCM).

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical SciencesUniversity of MacauTaipaChina

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