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Keywords

Community pharmacists; Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; Perceptions; DOTS; Barriers; Peru

Abstract

Objectives: The primary objective is to investigate the public’s perception about the role of the community pharmacist in Peru’s directly observed treatment, short course (DOTS) program. The secondary objective is to assess perceived barriers that would prevent the public from utilizing community pharmacists in order to identify future opportunities for community pharmacists to increase adherence to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) therapy. Design: Qualitative study comprised of an 8 close-ended survey questionnaire.

Setting: Healthcare clinics established by a medical mission group in Lima and surrounding communities, Peru, from July 13 to July 27, 2015. Participants: Patients 15 years of age and over who sought healthcare at the clinics. Main outcome measures: Public’s perception about the role of the community pharmacist in Peru and barriers that would prevent the public from seeking a community pharmacist. Results: Out of the 445 patients approached, 438 patients completed the survey, resulting in a 98% response rate. More than half (52%) of the respondents were likely to seek a community pharmacist to assist them in completing a MDR-TB medication regimen. Almost half (48%) of the respondents felt comfortable with assistance of a community pharmacist in completing an MDR-TB regimen. The physician was the first health care professional that was contacted for all medical situations, including drug-related questions (61%). Lack of privacy in the pharmacy (53%) and busyness of the pharmacists (52%) were the top perceived barriers for asking community pharmacists questions. Conclusion: This study highlights the need for pharmacist participation in Peru’s DOTS program. Furthermore, this investigation has identified several issues of concern related to current community pharmacy practice in Peru. Therefore, future efforts may be necessary to address these identified areas of opportunity to promote the community pharmacist’s role in health screening, drug therapy monitoring, and counseling to decrease the public health burden of MDR-TB.

Conflict of Interest

We declare no conflicts of interest or financial interests that the authors or members of their immediate families have in any product or service discussed in the manuscript, including grants (pending or received), employment, gifts, stock holdings or options, honoraria, consultancies, expert testimony, patents or royalties.

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