Zia, Nadeem (2021) Priority Medicines Policy Issues for Qatar: Challenges and Opportunities. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Qatar has a modern public and private healthcare system, and the state provides the majority of healthcare services free to its citizens. The aim of this study was to identify priority medicines policy issues, including the “use” and “access to medicines” in Qatar. In this qualitative study, opinions and knowledge about priority medicines policy issues in Qatar were explored. Fifty-five stakeholders in Qatar were contacted by face-to-face meetup, email, WhatsApp, and phone calls. Out of 55, 21 agreed to participate and they were from healthcare practices and academia. The recruitment method involved meeting with key stakeholders and using a snowball sampling procedure. The inclusion criteria included: (a) participants working or involved in Qatar’s healthcare system for more than five years; (b) participants having experience or working knowledge of medicines policy, or different facets of medicines policy, use and access to medicines; and (c) participants well versed in the English language.

All participants were involved in semi-structured, audio-recorded interviews, which were then transcribed verbatim, coded and followed by thematic analysis to identify the common themes. The identified themes include (a) Defining Medicines Policy (b) Access to Medicines (c) Use of Medicines (d) Future Overall Health and Use of Medicines for Qatar. This study found challenges related to the availability of pharmaceuticals in Qatar, including the medicines registration process.

There is no comprehensive national medicines policy in Qatar, however, there are a number of rules, regulations, policies and procedures in place. The community pharmacy services provided are mostly “traditional” with little emphasis on pharmacists’ extended roles and /or cognitive services. The study identifies several areas for improvement including extending the role of the pharmacist, improving the prescribing of antibiotics, medicines compliance and counselling for consumers, pharmacovigilance and implementation of generic medicines policies, as well as the need for a national health record database.

ZIA - THESIS.pdf - Accepted Version
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