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The reprofessionalisation of community pharmacy? An exploration of attitudes to extended roles for community pharmacists amongst pharmacists and General Practioners in the United Kingdom


  • Edmunds, June
  • Calnan, Michael W.


In the light of recent developments within the British National Health Service some sociologists have suggested that the medical profession's status is under threat. They have specified a range of factors contributing to this state of affairs, such as the new consumerism; however, it is thought that attempts by other, related occupations at reprofessionalisation are particularly significant in this trend. It may be possible to understand recent initiatives at extending community pharmacists' role within this framework. This paper suggests that while community pharmacy is developing strategies to enhance its professional status, it is not so much an attempt at usurping general practitioners'(GPs) (primary care doctors') role as a bid for survival, especially on the part of the rank and file. However, GPs do not necessarily see the initiatives in this light. Although many GPs are accommodating some changes in community pharmacy, they also perceive some of the initiatives as a threat to their autonomy and control, this was especially evident in representative bodies such as the Local Medical Committee. Doctors' accommodating attitudes were qualified with traditional attitudes of dominance such as 'limitation' and 'exclusion'. Such attitudes could prevent community pharmacy from achieving professional status. However, there is also evidence that pharmacists themselves contribute to this situation because many of them also attribute ultimate authority to doctors. Moreover, they are held back by internal occupational divisions particularly between retail pharmacists and employee pharmacists, with the former being the most insecure.

Suggested Citation

  • Edmunds, June & Calnan, Michael W., 2001. "The reprofessionalisation of community pharmacy? An exploration of attitudes to extended roles for community pharmacists amongst pharmacists and General Practioners in the United Kingdom," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 943-955, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:53:y:2001:i:7:p:943-955

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    Cited by:

    1. Petrakaki, Dimitra & Barber, Nick & Waring, Justin, 2012. "The possibilities of technology in shaping healthcare professionals: (Re/De-)Professionalisation of pharmacists in England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 429-437.
    2. McDonald, Ruth & Cheraghi-Sohi, Sudeh & Sanders, Caroline & Ashcroft, Darren, 2010. "Professional status in a changing world: The case of medicines use reviews in English community pharmacy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 451-458, August.
    3. Motulsky, Aude & Sicotte, Claude & Lamothe, Lise & Winslade, Nancy & Tamblyn, Robyn, 2011. "Electronic prescriptions and disruptions to the jurisdiction of community pharmacists," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 121-128, July.
    4. Bradley, Fay & Wagner, Andrew C. & Elvey, Rebecca & Noyce, Peter R. & Ashcroft, Darren M., 2008. "Determinants of the uptake of medicines use reviews (MURs) by community pharmacies in England: A multi-method study," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(2-3), pages 258-268, December.
    5. Williams, Kevin Frank, 2007. "Re-examining 'professionalism' in pharmacy: A South African perspective," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(6), pages 1285-1296, March.
    6. Rachel Elliott & Koen Putman & James Davies & Lieven Annemans, 2014. "A Review of the Methodological Challenges in Assessing the Cost Effectiveness of Pharmacist Interventions," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 32(12), pages 1185-1199, December.
    7. Perraudin, Clémence & Bugnon, Olivier & Pelletier-Fleury, Nathalie, 2016. "Expanding professional pharmacy services in European community setting: Is it cost-effective? A systematic review for health policy considerations," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(12), pages 1350-1362.


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