This project is funded by an APSA Grant (2019).
Co-investigators are Amber Salman Popattia and Laetitia Hattingh.
Many consumers choose to use complementary medicines and frequently purchase their complementary medicines from community pharmacy. Pharmacists tend to vary in their approach to the sale of complementary medicines and recent media reports suggest that some pharmacies are failing to meet community expectations regarding the advice they provide. There is a need for clearer guidance for pharmacists regarding their responsibilities when selling complementary medicines. The investigators have developed an ethical framework for the sale of complementary medicines in community pharmacy. This project seeks to extend this work by evaluating the acceptability and feasibility of implementing the guidance provided by the ethical framework. Australian community pharmacists will be recruited to participate in focus groups. Focus groups will provide an opportunity to examine group views regarding current practice and to identify organisational, professional and personal barriers and facilitators to implementing the ethical framework in practice. The findings from this study will be used to further develop the ethical framework. Practice change will be facilitated by the production of two reports regarding the responsibilities of pharmacists when selling complementary medicines. The first report will provide policy-level guidance for key professional and regulatory organisations. The second report will provide tools for practitioners to implement the ethical framework in practice.