Folia Medica 62(2): 324-330, doi: 10.3897/folmed.62.e39371
Pilot Study of Pharmacists’ Attitudes towards and Expectations for Remuneration of Valueadded Pharmacy Services (VAPS) in Bulgaria
expand article infoStefan V. Balkanski, Joana I. Simeonova§, Stanislav R. Gueorguiev|, Elina S. Petkova-Gueorguieva|, Ivan G. Gitev, Ilko N. Getov
‡ Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Union, Sofia, Bulgaria§ Мedical University of Pleven, Pleven, Bulgaria| Medical University of Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria¶ Medical University of Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria
Open Access

Introduction: Value-added pharmacy services (VAPS) are additional services to the traditional pharmacy activities, which do not in­clude dispensing of medicinal products and professional consultation. These services have cost reduction effect on the healthcare system and add value to the work of the pharmacist as a healthcare professional.

Aim: To assess the pharmacists’ attitudes and expectations towards the remuneration of value-added pharmacy services (VAPS) in Bulgaria.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study including pharmacists working in community pharmacies was carried out between August 2018 and October 2018. A web-based 15-item questionnaire was developed. The questionnaire was distributed to all members of the Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Union (n=5165). Two hundred thirty-three questionnaires were filled in and returned (response rate of 4.5%). Data were processed by SPSS v. 24.0.

Results: Over 51% of the community pharmacies in Bulgaria offer VAPS, mainly measuring blood pressure (67.4%) and blood glucose (12.9%). Over two-thirds of the pharmacists considered charging a remuneration fee for blood pressure measurement irrelevant. About 30.5% of those who held the opposite opinion proposed that the fee charged should not be higher than EUR 2.56. Over 44% of the re­spondents proposed that the fee for blood glucose measurement should not be higher than the same amount. Most pharmacists (98.3%) supported the idea of charging a remuneration fee for injections and influenza vaccination in a pharmacy.

Conclusion: The study shows that pharmacists in Bulgaria are ready to offer VAPS, but additional remuneration for the services should be provided.

value-added pharmacy services, remuneration, pharmacists, community pharmacy, patient benefits