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Dispensing doctors and prescribing pharmacists: A South African perspective

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  • Gilbert, Leah
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    Adopting an historical and international perspective, this article explores and analyses the relationship and controversy between pharmacists and dispensing doctors in South Africa. In order to gain a better insight into this troublesome relationship, a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods has been employed. The findings reveal a deep ongoing sense of competition, which is manifest in the form of public debate and continuous attempts to protect professional task domains. Most of the pharmacists interviewed in this study mentioned the "dispensing doctor" as the main problem facing the community pharmacist in South Africa. Meanwhile, the medical profession, as a united front, is fiercely protecting its "inherent" right to dispense medicines. Using the South African scenario, issues such as occupational task boundaries, "business" versus "professional" systems as well as the role of the state are discussed in relation to professional dominance, jurisdiction and autonomy.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 46 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 83-95

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:46:y:1998:i:1:p:83-95
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