Pharmacist Workforce at Primary Care Clinics: A Nationwide Survey in Taiwan


Chen Wei-HoORCID,Lee Pei-Chen,Chiang Shu-Chiung,Chang Yuh-Lih,Chen Tzeng-JiORCID,Chou Li-Fang,Hwang Shinn-JangORCID


Although dispensing is usually separated from prescribing in healthcare service delivery worldwide, primary care clinics in some countries can hire pharmacists to offer in-house dispensing or point-of-care dispensing for patients’ convenience. This study aimed to provide a general overview of pharmacists working at primary care clinics in Taiwan. Special attention was paid to clarifying the relationship by location, scale, and specialty of clinics. The data source was the Government’s open database in Taiwan. In our study, a total of 8688 pharmacists were hired in 6020 (52.1%) 11,546 clinics. The result revealed significant differences in the number of pharmacists at different specialty clinics among levels of urbanization. Group practices did not have a higher probability of hiring pharmacists than solo practices. There was a higher prevalence of pharmacists practicing in clinics of non surgery-related specialties than in surgery-related specialties. Although the strict separation policy of dispensing and prescribing has been implemented for 2 decades in Taiwan, most primary care clinics seem to circumvent the regulation by hiring pharmacists to maintain dominant roles in dispensing drugs and retaining the financial benefits from drugs. More in-depth analyses are required to study the impact on pharmacies and the quality of pharmaceutical care.




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