Internet-based pharmacy and centralised dispensing: an exploratory mixed-methods study of the views of family practice staff

Hall, Nicola, Wilkes, Scott and Sherwood, John (2019) Internet-based pharmacy and centralised dispensing: an exploratory mixed-methods study of the views of family practice staff. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice. (In Press)

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Over the last decade, technological advances, market competition and increasing pressures for efficiencies across health care systems have resulted in changes to the processes and policies involved in medicines prescribing and dispensing. The aim of this study was to explore the views of family practice staff, including GPs, on the perceived impact of changes associated with remote dispensing and the increasing availability of distance-selling pharmacies.
Exploratory mixed methods study using qualitative focus groups and an online cross-sectional survey distributed to a non-probability sample of staff from family practices across England. Survey items were developed based on existing literature and initial thematic analysis from the focus groups and adapted using cognitive interviewing techniques.
Findings suggest that family practice staff believe that where and how prescriptions are dispensed impacts on their practice and patients. Frequent contact with distance-selling pharmacies is not common, however, highlighted concerns included patient safety issues and the potential threat to the loss of valued elements and sustainability of community pharmacy and dispensing practices. Identified concerns and experiences are unlikely to be routinely discussed within or between practices, limiting opportunities for shared learning and consideration of the potential impact of changes to dispensing processes and policies.
Further research is needed to confirm these exploratory findings, due to the low response rate and sample size. Findings, nevertheless, highlight how wider changes in dispensing processes may have unintended consequences on other aspects of the healthcare system.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Social Sciences > Health and Social Care
Sciences > Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Divisions: Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Nicola Hall
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2019 11:19
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2019 11:19

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