The Pharmacists Attributes in Advising Patients in Independently Owned Maltese Pharmacies


Objectives: To determine the influence of pharmacists on customers who have to decide between Over the Counter products in independently owned Maltese pharmacies. Methods: 20 managing pharmacists in independently owned Maltese pharmacies were interviewed. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and the data were coded. The main categories and subcategories were extracted and interrelated by using the grounded theory of action approach. Key findings Pharmacists dedicate time to ensure the right OTC is received by their patients. Before recommending an OTC medication the pharmacists ask key questions, which help them determine if an OTC is appropriate for the patient. The Maltese pharmacists engage their patients in a discussion before recommending an OTC product. In order to ensure that the patients are following their advice, pharmacists use different techniques. Whenever the patient might want to purchase an OTC, which could interfere with their medication regimen or might not be appropriate from the age point of view, then pharmacist intervenes accordingly. Each pharmacist offered specific examples how they convince their patients to purchase the correct medication. The pharmacists provided specific examples how they decide to select a specific OTC medicine and what type of questions were asked before taking a decision. In order to ensure their patients have the best access to the health care, many pharmacists embraced other roles and services, such as measuring and monitoring the blood pressure and glucose levels, determining the correct weight management product. Conclusions: The analyzed data highlight that Maltese community pharmacists play an important role in counseling patients on their choice of OTC products. The analysis has also identified some useful counseling techniques, which has been used by pharmacists for prescription medications. However, the Maltese pharmacists use these counseling techniques on a larger scale. It seems likely that many pharmacists are embracing more additional roles to ensure their population receives the best clinical services. Before dispensing an OTC medication, pharmacists use their clinical knowledge.

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Cernasev, A. , Hadsall, R. and Cordina, M. (2014) The Pharmacists Attributes in Advising Patients in Independently Owned Maltese Pharmacies. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 5, 462-470. doi: 10.4236/pp.2014.55056.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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