Perception of the community toward the transition of pharmaceutical care services from ministry of health primary healthcare centers to community pharmacies

Noha Al Aloola, Sumaiah Aljudabi, Fathy Behery, Monira Alwhaibi, Tariq Alhawassi


Introduction: There is a lack of research on the impact of the transition of pharmaceutical care service from Ministry of Health (MOH) primary healthcare centers (PHCs) to community pharmacies (Wasfaty service) in Saudi Arabia. This study explored the Saudi community’s perception toward the transition of pharmaceutical care service. Community needs and expectations from the Wasfaty service were assessed, and its experience, concerns, and limitations were evaluated.

Methods: Qualitative, in-depth, semistructured interviews of Saudi community members who visited community pharmacies with electronic prescriptions from MOH PHCs were conducted. The data obtained from participants were thematically organized and analyzed using NVivo software.

Results: Seven themes related to the new Wasfaty service were identified and divided into three categories: perception toward the transition in pharmaceutical care, experience with the Wasfaty service, and concerns about limitations of the Wasfaty service. The Saudi community was generally satisfied with the new Wasfaty service and highlighted its benefits compared to PHCs pharmacies. These include: easier access, time flexibility, lower crowds, better communication with pharmacists, better medication education, better medication availability, better control over dispensing, and easier refills. However, the community complained about the lack of privacy in community pharmacies, the lack of female pharmacists, and the low number of Saudi pharmacists. They also were concerned about the number and location of community pharmacies featuring the Wasfaty service, some technical issues, and the lack of labels on medications (i.e., receiving no instructions about medication storage).

Conclusions: The Saudi community showed its need for the transition in pharmaceutical care services.

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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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