Support and perceived barriers to implementing pre-exposure prophylaxis screening and dispensing in pharmacies: Examining concordance between pharmacy technicians and pharmacists

Roderick Hopkins, Dorie Josma, Joseph Morris, Donald G. Klepser, Henry N. Young, Natalie D. Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Recent legislation to expand pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) screening and dispensing in pharmacies may significantly improve PrEP access for people at a high risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. Studies have shown that pharmacists show wide support for PrEP expansion in pharmacies. However, pharmacy technicians are often the first point of contact for patients in pharmacies and are required to implement many of the tasks to ensure patients of a pharmacy receive adequate services. The purpose of this study was to assess pharmacists’ and pharmacy technicians’ perspectives regarding the implementation of PrEP screening and dispensing. Methods: We qualitatively examined whether pharmacy technicians’ (n = 6) support and perceived barriers to screening and dispensing PrEP in pharmacies were concordant with those of pharmacists (n = 7). Pharmacy staff were recruited from high-risk HIV neighborhoods in Atlanta, GA using AIDSVu (Atlanta, GA). Two independent coders used MAXQDA (Berlin, Germany) and performed thematic data analysis and unitization to determine agreement. Results: Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians expressed strong willingness and support for screening and dispensing PrEP in pharmacies. Both groups expressed concerns about the time and the resources needed to perform PrEP screening and dispensing. Technicians, however, also reported concerns about privacy for patients, the need for community support and awareness of pharmacy-based PrEP screening, and recommended scheduling of PrEP screening activities during a limited part of the day to facilitate screening. Pharmacists reported fewer barriers but reported a need for more training of pharmacy staff to assist with PrEP screening and dispensing implementation. Conclusion: Pharmacy technicians discussed more barriers compared with pharmacists who were largely centered around practical considerations (i.e., logistics and workflow) that may affect the success of PrEP screening and dispensing. Given technicians’ pivotal role in the pharmacy, implementation of pharmacy-based PrEP services should address technicians’ perceived barriers in addition to those of pharmacists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology

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