College of Pharmacy Faculty Research ​and Publications

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IOSR Journal of Pharmacy

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Federal legislation that has been introduced to amend the Social Security Act in order to provide for coverage of cognitive pharmacist services under the Medicare program in medically underserved communities. In the rural state of Arkansas this legislation would be well-received because a large portion of the state meets the criteria of a health professional shortage area. Considering the growing interest of using telecommunications as an alternative means of delivering healthcare services to medically underserved rural areas, a pharmacist-staffed consumer-oriented drug information service was explored. Over a 5-day period, 473 face-to-face consumer surveys were conducted in pharmacy and non-pharmacy settings in an urban cluster population center that serves the surrounding rural area. The survey was designed to determine whether or not consumers had a perceived need for a drug information service that was independent from and supplemental to services provided by their pharmacist. Results reveal that 71% of participants surveyed did not perceive a need for medication information that was supplemental to that provided by their pharmacist. When queried regarding the likelihood of using a drug information service if one was available their response was neutral, and they became less likely if a fee was associated with the service. While the results are not conclusive and cannot be generalized as to whether a consumer-oriented drug information service would contribute to improving patient care, the survey suggests that this telepharmacy service is not perceived as being needed by the public.

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