Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist December 2013 Contents 70 Australian Pharmacist December 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
the majority of interviewed consumers
visited a CP that they trusted and with
whom they had a prior relationship. If the
interviewed consumer wanted to purchase
products and gain a price advantage then
they visited more commercially oriented
community pharmacies, such as those
pharmacies that advertised price advantage
on non-prescription medicines more
openly than other pharmacies. Thus price
advantage does attract consumers but not
necessarily loyal consumers.
The findings suggest that the logical next
step for community pharmacy professional
associations and bodies is to target
changing the expectations and perceptions
of consumers regarding CPs' new CDM
role in primary healthcare. Community
pharmacy associations will most likely need
to engage consumer groups in strategies
that raise their awareness of the new CP
CDM expertise and CDM capabilities as well
as the positive patient outcomes that have
been achieved through CPs formalising a
new role for themselves in CDM.
Consumers were also uncertain about
undertaking CDM programs delivered
by CPs because of the lack of privacy.
Interviewed consumers reported
that they would feel uncomfortable
discussing sensitive CDM information in
the insufficiently private environment
of a community pharmacy. This final
finding reflects concerns articulated in the
community pharmacy literature.9,13,14
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has
directly tied the future of CDM delivery in
community pharmacy with the provision
of private counselling rooms.30--32 The
introduction of private counselling
facilities has been slow and inconsistent
in the practice environment.14 Consumers
interviewed for this study reiterated this
finding by indicating that they had rarely
been exposed to community pharmacies
that offered such facilities. Thus, community
pharmacy is still seen by these consumers
as an inappropriate environment for
One strategy suggested by this study to
overcome the perception that community
pharmacy is an inappropriate environment
for CDM could be to seek to raise consumer
awareness of community pharmacy's
commitment to privacy by only giving
CDM accreditation to those CPs who would
deliver CDM in private counselling facilities.
As has been outlined by the Pharmacy Guild
of Australia.30 Thus, the outcome of such a
strategy is likely to culminate in convincing
a greater number of consumers that CPs
are appropriate facilitators of CDM and that
they will perform CDM in an appropriate
The main limitation of this study arose
from the sample from which the data were
collected and therefore the generalisability
of the findings. The study focus groups
were performed using health consumers
from metropolitan Perth, Western Australia.
Consumers living in rural areas of Australia
may have differing views on the questions.
This type of consumer grouping would
have added a greater depth to the analysis.
Thus the knowledge derived from the
findings of this research will only relate to
health consumers and CPs interacting in
similar metropolitan areas in Australia.
In conclusion this study reported that
CPs are perceived to be trustworthy and
knowledgeable regarding medications.
Furthermore consumers are relying more
frequently on their CP for continuity of
care as access to general practitioners
decreases. However, until the privacy issues
in community pharmacies are more readily
overcome, consumers will be less likely to
undertake CDM delivered by a CP. This is
compounded by consumers believing that
CPs do not have the appropriate training
and skill set to perform CDM. Thus they
perceive that positive outcomes from a
CDM program delivered by CPs will not
be forthcoming. CPs and community
pharmacy professional bodies need to
increase consumer awareness of the
changes taking place in CP training and
expertise, if consumers are going to
consider CPs as appropriate CDM facilitators
and utilise them.
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