A community pharmacy is a healthcare facility responsible for providing pharmaceutical care services to the community
A community pharmacy is a healthcare facility responsible for providing pharmaceutical care services to the community. The WHO guideline defines dispensing as: The review of a prescription and the preparation, packaging, labeling, record keeping and transfer of the prescribed medicine including counseling to a patient, their agent, or another person who is responsible for the administration of the medicine to that patient.
The pharmacist should ensure that the prescription is valid, that the medicine is clinically appropriate for the patient, and that information is provided to ensure safe and appropriate use of the medicine. Good dispensing of medicines is an important component of rational medicine therapy in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks to end users. However, dispensing practices in KSA are not to the standard expectations. It is therefore, of utmost importance to follow good dispensing practice guideline that would aid individuals involved in dispensing and improve the quality of pharmaceutical service. Furthermore, the guideline is useful for other health care professionals and training institutions. (Pharmacy board of Australia, 2015)
Consumers’ behavior in purchasing medicine from medical stores is similar to buying food items or general commodities from a grocery store, the professional role of pharmacists is not well established (Bhuvan KC, 2013). Moreover, people consider community pharmacists as chemists or medicine traders. Thus, community pharmacies have become the most favored place for those seeking healthcare for general ailments (Gyawali S, 2014)(Miller R,2016) Furthermore, consultation is easier and cheaper (Hadi MA, 2016).
Good Dispensing Practice ensures that the right medicines of desired quality are delivered correctly to the right patient with the right dose, strength, frequency, dosage form and quantity, together with clear instructions, both written – verbal and with appropriate packaging suitable for maintaining the quality and efficacy of the medicine. A safe, clean and organized working environment provides the basis for good dispensing practice. The dispensing environment includes:
• Qualified / trained staff
• Appropriate physical surroundings
• Adequate shelving and storage areas Proper work surfaces
• Suitable equipment
• Necessary packaging materials
Responsibility for the accuracy and quality of the medicines supplied lies on the persons overseeing the dispensing process. It is important that the staff dispensing medicines are trained and equipped with the technical knowledge and the skills necessary to dispense the range of medicines prescribed and to communicate effectively with patients/ caregivers. (Malasya pharmaceutical services, 2016)