Professional training and roles of community pharmacists in Malaysia: Views from general medical practitioners
Aim: This pilot study aimed to explore the perceptions of general medical practitioners (GPs) towards the professionaltraining and roles of community pharmacists.
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all private clinics (n=160) run by GPs in a northern stateof Malaysia. The instrument contained questions to evaluate the practitioners’ level of agreement using a 5-point Likerttype scale.
Results: Of 160 GPs, 80 returned the questionnaire (response rate 50%). The respondents agreed that: GPs shouldconsider the community pharmacists’ recommendations whenever there is/are any problem(s) with the prescriptionsgiven by them (46.3%); community pharmacists are the best healthcare professionals to educate patients about safeand appropriate use of medications (52.5%); the pharmacy profession had undergone a major metamorphosis from aproduct-oriented profession to a more patient-centred and outcome-oriented one (61.3%); if dispensing separation isimplemented, they will work closely with the community pharmacists in monitoring patients’ pharmacotherapeuticoutcomes (77.5%).
Conclusion: The current findings suggest that GPs would support an extension of the role of the community pharmacistsin number of activities of patient care activities such as medication counselling. Thus, suggesting potential collaborativecare between GPs and community pharmacists towards patient care and the needs to develop and incorporate topicson inter-professional relationship in the current medical and pharmaceutical education curriculums.
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