Ibrahim Al-Khars, Managing Director/ Senior Consultant, People and Business Development Centre, Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Pharmaceutical care models concentrate in improving the medication use process to improve outcomes, including the patients’ quality of life, and that involves a focus change for pharmacy from product to patient especially in the community setting. Several studies and programs have shown that pharmaceutical care improves the patients’ quality of life in community pharmacy practice and patients benefit from these services. Pharmaceutical care in Saudi Arabia is practiced in many hospitals but not everywhere to the same extent. There are many studies and reviews about the pharmaceutical care in the hospital setting. However, few studies about pharmaceutical care throughout community pharmacy.
In this study we aim to describe the concept and the status of pharmaceutical care in community pharmacy in Saudi Arabia. It tries to clarify the current status of pharmaceutical care implementation, and what models are used. In addition, the study will review previous researches in this fields. Community pharmacists are wavering between the wish to provide pharmaceutical care and economic considerations. New entrants into the Saudi market, such as pharmacy chains, change the standards and emphasis new rules and services on care provision. Pharmaceutical care is not common practice in most community pharmacies and those who are trying to practice, not in very deliberate or structured manner. Current threats to pharmaceutical care practice and research in community pharmacy include changes in government’ regulations, budget cuts, and reduced manpower. Some basic decisions have to be made, in order to guarantee that every patient receives pharmaceutical care when needed. The governing bodies do not appear to have any desire to influence the practice of pharmaceutical care and could potentially take on a more active role for patient-oriented services.