Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist December 2013 Contents 68 Australian Pharmacist December 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
focussed or were more price oriented.
The third theme was the lack of consumer
awareness of CP CDM skills to deliver CP
CDM programs. The last theme to emerge
was the lack of consumer confidence
in positive patient outcomes occurring
from CP managed CDM programs leading
decreased consumer willingness to
utilise the programs. The strong themes
that emerged from the data will now
The changing importance of the
consumer/CP relationship as
consumers reassured by CPs medication
The first main theme to emerge was
generated by the increased demands
that CDM has placed on the primary
healthcare system and reduced access to
GPs. All the consumers reported being
reassured by having the CP review and
confirm the GPs' directions and dosages
of medications prescribed. The majority of
consumers were confident in CPs' specific
knowledge of medications and thought
it appropriate that CPs gave information
to consumers about their medications to
help them manage and safeguard against
any adverse drug reactions and to ensure
that the consumer received optimum use
of their medication and continuity of care.
Focus group key:
FU40 #3: (Female, Under 40 #: participant
number within the focus group)
FO40 #6: (Female, Over 40, #: participant
number within the focus group).
MU40 #4: (Male, Under 40, #: participant
number within the focus group)
MO40 #1: (Male, Over 40, #: participant
number within the focus group)
FO40 #6: Well mine will ask if I've got a new
prescription. They'll say, "Have you had this
before?" I think, "Well no." And you know,
the doctor might have said something
and I think, "God did he say take one three
times a day or three once a day," and you
can't remember because you're not well
or something. And so the pharmacist
says, "Oh." He's got it written there. "Oh, is
that what he said?" And they usually ask,
"Have you ever had this before?" And if you
say no, then they'll give you the spiel on it.
It was evident from the consumer focus
groups that a perceived worsening of
access to GPs may be changing the
nature of the consumer/CP relationship.
It was noted by most of the interviewed
consumers that it was increasingly
difficult to organise an appointment for a
GP in a timely fashion.
FO40 #4: Oh yeah, like need to see a doctor
today, 'Oh we can get you in on Monday
week.' By which time you're either dead
or over it. You cry, you just cry down the
phone. 'Oh, alright, we can fit you in. Can
you come up straight away?'
Consumers reported becoming more
reliant on CPs, resulting in more
importance being placed on consumer/
CP relationships. Some of the consumers
described having to make appointments
with different GPs, leaving the CP as the
one consistent healthcare professional
available to them. As such, those
consumers who were suffering from more
chronic diseases, particularly the older
age groups, described CPs as filling a
critical gap in the continuity of their care
due to the lack of timely accessibility to a
trusted general practitioner.
FO40 #4: But the problem is you know you
can get in at usually the surgery that the
doctor's not as good. That's really hard.
That's where the pharmacist also fills the
gap. Because if you go and see a doctor that
you're really not that confident with. And
what I call shop-a-doctor, basically some
you go in and they'll just give you the script
for whatever, to move you through because
they do 10 minute appointments rather
than 15 or 20. So you'll come out and you'll
go to the pharmacist. I'll just usually clarify
that...And I'll say, 'Is that really what I need
For some consumers the relationship with
their CP was so strong that they would
travel considerable distances to have the
reassurance of that particular CP's advice
MO40 #3: Yeah, I've been going to the same
bloke (CP) now for about 17 years... I found
this guy in a neighbouring suburb, went
there, then he sold up and moved so I found
out where he went to and I followed him
basically. I would not even contemplate
going anywhere else. I'd still follow him
elsewhere if he moved again because he's
that good. He isn't the cheapest but he is
just so thorough.
Consumer decision-making around
healthcare and CPs:
The second main theme emerged from
those interviewed reporting making
choices regarding the CPs they utilised
depending on their healthcare needs.
If they needed healthcare advice, they
preferred to go to a trusted CP with
whom they had a positive established
relationship regarding healthcare advice.
If they were buying products and seeking
an advantage in price they would frequent
those community pharmacies whose focus
seemed to be on price and not healthcare
FO40 #3: At my local one, if I do have queries
and that, he's very good. The staff are very
respectful, and because it's in (suburb), it's sort
of countrified 'cause I live in the country too.
So it's almost a country feel to it. But if you go
into the ones in (different suburb) which is my
prerogative, and I go in and get the cheapest,
they are very market orientated. If I go in and
say, 'I want x, y or z,' ...they're very brusque.
So that's possibly why I make a decision that
if I know what I want, and I'm in the shopping
centre I'll go and get it. If I don't know what I
want and I want some advice I'll go and see J
(the local pharmacist).
The interviewed consumers identified
more price-oriented CPs as those working
in the larger more 'commercial looking'
pharmacies. These pharmacies were
described as having such attributes as
selling a wider range of different non-
medical products than most pharmacies,
discounting medications and reminded
the consumer interviewees more of a
supermarket than a community pharmacy.
MU40 #2: I don't think I would ever go to one
of those big supermarket pharmacies. I don't
like, I wouldn't. The only thing I would imagine
feeling comfortable buying from somewhere
like that, would be kind of you know, that like
every day over-the-counter medication, like
Panadol or something, except I don't take
that. If I had any reason to go to a pharmacy
I'd want to talk to someone and have a time
put aside for me and stuff like that.
While the consumers differentiated
between retail and healthcare oriented
community pharmacies, most were not too
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