Bissell, Paul, Blenkinsopp, Alison, Short, Duncan and Mason, Linda (2008) Patients’ experiences of a community pharmacy-led medicines management service. Health and Social Care in the Community, 16 (4). pp. 363-369. ISSN 0966-0410

Medicines management services provided by community pharmacists have been proposed as one means to ensure that patients receive all the medicines they may benefit from in the English National Health Service. These services may also offer ways of addressing the historic under-utilization of community pharmacists’ clinical skills and expertise. Medicines management services differ significantly from the dispensing and medicines sales roles traditionally associated with community pharmacy, particularly in relation to the provision for pharmacists to make recommendations to both patients and doctors about pharmacological treatment and lifestyle management. This paper describes patients’ experiences of a medicines management service provided by community pharmacists for people with coronary heart disease, delivered in England. It draws on findings from semistructured, face-to-face interviews with 49 patients recruited from pilot sites delivering the service. Findings suggest that although patients cautiously welcomed the opportunity to consult with a pharmacist about their medicines, they had reservations about them making recommendations about treatment, and many still regarded the doctor as the health professional ‘in charge’ of their medicines. The implications of these findings are discussed in light of the developing sociological literature on pharmacy and medicines usage.

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