Pharmacists’ Assessment of the Difficulty and Frequency of Ethical Issues Encountered in Community Pharmacy Settings
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Researching ethical problems and their frequency could give us a complex picture and greater insight into the types of ethical issues that pharmacists face in providing health care. The overall aim of this study was to assess the pharmacist’s perception of difficulty and frequency of selected ethical issues encountered by the community pharmacists in their everyday practice. A quantitative cross sectional multicenter study was performed using a validated survey instrument - Ethical Issue Scale for Community Pharmacy (EISP). The results of the analysis of 690 completely filled out instruments (response rate 78.49%) showed the difference between the ethical issues which always occurred (“A pharmacist is prevented from dispensing a medicine to the patient due to an administrative error in the prescription”), and the ones that pharmacists found most difficult (“A pharmacist dispenses a medicine he/she personally considers inadequate for the therapeutic treatment of the patient, in order to... avoid any conflicts with the physician” and “A pharmacist is considering violating the rules and regulations in order to perform an act of humanity”). The majority of respondents (84.78%) were familiar with the Code of Ethics but the correlation between the familiarity and the perceived usefulness of the code in resolving problems in everyday practice was negative (ρ = −0.17, p lt 0.001). Results showed that patients’ well-being had a high influence on pharmacists’ behavior. The results provided quantitative data by the examination of specific ethical issues and their occurrence. Further empirical research is recommended in order to systematically identify the ethical issues faced by community pharmacists.
Keywords:Code of Ethics / Community pharmacists / Ethical issues / Ethics / Frequency
Source:Science and Engineering Ethics, 2019, 25, 4, 1017-1036
- Springer Netherlands