A comparison of community pharmacy methadone services between Dublin and Glasgow: (1) Extent of service provision in 1997/1998 and views of pharmacists on existing provision and future service developments
Clare A Mackie, Anne Marie Healy, Kay Roberts, Sheila Ryder
Objectives: To determine the extent of pharmacists' participation in methadone services, type of services provided, views on current service provision and suggestions for future service developments. Methods and setting: An anonymous postal questionnaire was distributed to all community pharmacies in the greater Dublin area (n=291) and in Glasgow (n=200), excluding 12 pharmacies in each city that had participated in the pilot study. Key findings: The response rates were 50% (146/291) and 56% (112/200) for Dublin and Glasgow respectively. Participation in methadone services was considerably higher in Glasgow (80%, 90/112, of respondents) than in Dublin (38%, 55/146) and the number of patients per pharmacy was higher. A majority of pharmacists participating in methadone services (76% in Dublin, 92% in Glasgow) felt they had a professional responsibility to provide such services. In both cities the most common grounds for lack of service provision were business reasons, including risk to staff or property and theft. Current non-participants identified increased demand for the service and improved security measures as two factors that may encourage their participation in the future. Conclusion: Pharmacists in Dublin and Glasgow differed significantly in the extent and types of services provided. This may be because a structured scheme was in place in Glasgow but not in Dublin at the time of the study. Despite these differences in service provision, views were very similar in both cities.