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Original Research

Main challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector in Buchanan County, Virginia: a pilot study

Submitted: 29 February 2012
Revised: 17 June 2012
Published: 2 November 2012

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Author(s) : Gavaza P, Yan W, Campbell J.

Paul GavazaWenfei YanJennifer Campbell

Citation: Gavaza P, Yan W, Campbell J.  Main challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector in Buchanan County, Virginia: a pilot study. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2012; 12: 2125. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=2125 (Accessed 21 October 2017)

ABSTRACT

Introduction:  Little is known about the challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector in rural counties in the USA. The aim of this pilot study is to determine the main challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector and suggestions for improving the sector in Buchanan County, a poor and marginalized county in Central Appalachia, Virginia.
Methods:  This cross-sectional study used the drop-by survey based on the first step of the modified Delphi Interview Technique. A convenience sample of healthcare professionals in Buchanan County were asked to complete a self-administered survey instrument between May and August 2011.
Results:  A total of 16 healthcare professionals including six pharmacists completed the survey. The respondents had worked for an average of 13.4 (SD=10.7) years in the County (range: 1–33 years). The main challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector were drug abuse (n=11), doctor shopping by patients (n=9), early refills (n=7) and drug shortage (n=6). Respondents suggested increased patient education by pharmacists (n=6) and better coordination and communication between pharmacy and doctor (n=6) to improve the pharmaceutical sector in the County.
Conclusions:  Drug abuse, doctor shopping, early refills and drug shortage are the main challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector in Buchanan County. Concerted efforts are required to solve these problems. More research is required to confirm these findings.

Key words: Buchanan County, Delphi interview technique, pharmacy, rural pharmaceutical services, USA.

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