Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 127–131 | Cite as

Technicians or patient advocates? − still a valid question

  • Anna Birna Almarsd¢ttir
  • Janine Marie Morgall


New legislation went into effect in Iceland in March 1996 making it the first Nordic country to liberate their drug distribution system. The term liberalization implies the abolishment of the professional monopoly in that ownership was not tied to the pharmacy profession anymore. Focus group discussions with community pharmacists in the capital area Reykjav¡k and rural areas were employed to answer the research question: How has the pharmacists' societal role evolved after the legislation and what are the implications for pharmacy practice? The results showed firstly that the public image and the self‐image of the pharmacist has changed in the short time since the legislative change. The pharmacists generally said that their patient contact is deteriorating due to the discount wars, the rural pharmacists being more optimistic, and believing in a future competition based on quality. Secondly, the results showed that the pharmacists have difficulties reconciling their technical paradigm with a legislative and professional will specifying customer and patient focus. This study describes the challenges of a new legislation with a market focus for community pharmacists whose education emphasized technical skills. This account of the changes in the drug distribution system in Iceland highlights some of the implications for pharmacists internationally.

Drug distribution Education Iceland Liberalization Pharmaceutical care Professional monopoly 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Birna Almarsd¢ttir
  • Janine Marie Morgall

There are no affiliations available

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