Community pharmacists' perception and attitudes toward independent prescribing in the United Arab Emirates: an exploratory study

Ayah Sadeq, Mohammad M. Alahmad, Sham Zain Alabdin, Moatasem Abdelsabour, Attaallah Muhaisen, Al Baraa Fathelrahman, Salahdein Aburuz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To evaluate and investigate the perception and attitudes of community pharmacists (CPs) toward community pharmacist independent prescribing (CPIP) and their perceived ability to diagnose and manage common health problems. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on licensed CPs in Al-Ain City, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September to December 2019. A sample of 220 participants was randomly selected from the database of 980 licensed pharmacists working in Al-Ain. Pharmacists were asked to complete a questionnaire that includes five sections: demographic characteristics, pharmacists' confidence, perceived requirements and barriers for the CPIP process and perceived competence to manage common medical conditions. Key findings: Two hundred CPs were enrolled (response rate 91%) in this study (mean age 30.7 ± 7.2 years old); majority were females 60.3% (n = 121) and 90.0% (n = 190) had minimum bachelor's degree in pharmacy. Most of the participants had long-standing experience in the community pharmacy field (10 years). The majority of the pharmacists were confident in their ability to practice (CPIP) (70.0%, n = 140). However, they were least confident in their current knowledge and skills for practicing CPIP (58%, n = 116). More than 70.0% (n = 140) of the respondents were required to have a well-prepared consultation area, get proper access to patients' records and provide recommendations. The main perceived barrier to CPIP was physicians' acceptance (57.0%, n = 114). Around 75.0% (n = 140) of the CPs believed they are skilful in managing minor ailments such as acute back pain and acne, however, they reported lower perceived competence for the management of chronic diseases such as hypertension and asthma. Conclusions: Most CPs have a positive attitude toward implementing CPIP, especially on minor ailments. The main perceived barrier was physicians' acceptance and the majority of pharmacists were required to have access to patients' medical records and a well-prepared consultation area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-332
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2022


  • Community pharmacist
  • attitude
  • independent prescribing
  • perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)


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