Reference data base of Australia’s community pharmacies: analysis of national survey
The overall objective of the project was to construct a reference, baseline set of data on current community pharmacy services in Australia, which was nationally representative and reliable. A further aim of the study was that this baseline data would be available for the planning and evaluation of new pharmacy services. Prior to the commencement of this study there was no standard reference database of Australian pharmacy practice. A random sample of Australia’s registered pharmacies stratified into jurisdictions and location categories (PHARIA 2000) was the source. Data forms divided into five sets of services (1) prescription-related, (2) primary care (incl. over the counter medicines), (3) prevention (incl. screening, health information, sterile needles), (4) specialty (incl. institutional and aged care facilities, methadone maintenance), and (5) other (incl. Complementary medicines) were produced and validated. The study was adequately powered, as the survey was distributed to 1,391 pharmacies and of these 1,131 (81%) responded
Results were extensive (including frequency results for every question asked) but some key findings included:
- Greatest barriers to enhanced pharmacy services were lack of time (90.3%), shortage of pharmacists (78.3%), no extra remuneration (63.3%) and cannot find locums (63.2%).
- Community pharmacists declined to dispense 1.075 million prescriptions annually due to dosages, interactions, adverse effects or other problems
- 53.7% of community pharmacies provided medicines to aged care facilities and 50.8% were approved for domiciliary medication management reviews