Controversy and consensus on a clinical pharmacist in primary care in the Netherlands

Ankie C.M. Hazen*, Aletta W.van der Wal, Vivianne M. Sloeserwij, Dorien L.M. Zwart, Johan Gier, Niek Wit, Anne J. Leendertse, Marcel L. Bouvy, Antoinette Bont

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
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Controversy about the introduction of a non-dispensing pharmacist in primary care practice hampers implementation. 


The aim of this study is to systematically map the debate on this new role for pharmacists amongst all stakeholders to uncover and understand the controversy and consensus. 


Primary health care in the Netherlands. 

Method Q methodology. 

163 participants rank-ordered statements on issues concerning the integration of a non-dispensing pharmacist in primary care practice. Main outcome measure: Stakeholder perspectives on the role of the non-dispensing pharmacist and pharmaceutical care in primary care. 


This study identified the consensus on various features of the non-dispensing pharmacist role as well as the financial, organisational and collaborative aspects of integrating a non-dispensing pharmacist in primary care practice. Q factor analysis revealed four perspectives: “the independent community pharmacist”, “the independent clinical pharmacist”, “the dependent clinical pharmacist” and “the medication therapy management specialist”. These four perspectives show controversies to do with the level of professional independency of the non-dispensing pharmacist and the level of innovation of task performance. 


Despite the fact that introducing new professional roles in healthcare can lead to controversy, the results of this Q study show the potential of a non-dispensing pharmacist as a pharmaceutical care provider and the willingness for interprofessional collaboration. The results from the POINT intervention study in the Netherlands will be an important next step in resolving current controversies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1250-1260
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical pharmacist
  • General practitioner
  • Integrated care
  • Netherlands
  • Primary care
  • Q method


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