Research Article
Volume 3 Issue 3 - 2021
Perceptions of Pharmacists on the Practice of Medication Dispensing at the Primary Health Care Level
Juliana Teotônio Mota Sousa1,3*, Edna Regina Silva Pereira2,3 and Nathalie de Lourdes Souza Dewulf3
1Pharmaceutical Assistance Department, Municipal Health Secretary of Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil
2Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Federal University of Goiás, Brazil
3Research Laboratory of Education and Health Services, School of Pharmacy, Federal University of Goiás, Brazil
*Corresponding Author: Juliana Teotônio Mota Sousa, Municipal Health Department, Municipal Health Secretary of Goiânia, Brazil.
Received: November 10, 2020; Published: February 27, 2021




Abstract

Dispensing is the process, performed exclusively by the pharmacist, during which medication is provided to the patient, along with counseling on how to use that medication. Within primary health care settings, this service can identify, prevent, and resolve problems related to medications, consequently improving the health of the population. Nevertheless, this task has been incipient in Brazil, possibly interfering with the rational use of medicines and the success of pharmacological treatment. The objective of this study was to analyze pharmacists’ perception of medications dispensing within a Primary Health Care setting. A descriptive exploratory study was conducted using a qualitative approach. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with seven pharmacists working in Primary Health Care. The interviews were conducted using scripted questions and were audio-recorded. The sample was defined by data saturation and the data was analyzed using content analysis. This study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Federal University of Goiás. Seven interviews were conducted, with three thematic categories being identified: medication management, medication dispensing, and pharmaceutical education. Medication management was found to be the activity that generated greatest concern among the pharmacists. Medication dispensing was considered inconsistent, with the participants reporting difficulties that negatively affect this service, particularly the physical structure of the pharmacy, and issues involving pharmacy assistants and the multi-professional teamwork. These pharmacists also mentioned that the undergraduate pharmacy program is deficient insofar as medication dispensing is concerned. Most interviewees reported a need for continuing education, with emphasis on master’s degree courses. These results highlight the lack of proximity between the pharmacist and the patient, with the pharmacist’s routine activities being focused predominantly on medication management. Also, it is important to review the structure and processes established in primary health care to improve the pharmacy structure, the relationship between the pharmacist and the assistants, as well as the multi-professional teamwork. The pharmacists interviewed were interested in acquiring medication dispensing skills through continuing education. Therefore, developing continuing education in medication dispensing for pharmacists working in primary health care and encouraging them to take advantage of such programs could improve their performance and the health of patients.

Keywords: Primary Health Care; Medication Dispensing; Pharmaceutical Education; Continuing Education

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Citation: Juliana Teotônio Mota Sousa., et al. ““Perceptions of Pharmacists on the Practice of Medication Dispensing at the Primary Health Care Level”. EC Nursing and Healthcare 3.3 (2021): 314-326.

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