Objectives: To assess community pharmacists' perceptions of new or transferred prescription incentives on quality of care, pharmacy practice (e.g., workload), and patient base. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Texas from March through August 2010. Participants: Texas community pharmacists. Intervention: In-person and online surveys. Main outcome measure: Pharmacists' perceptions of the impact of new or transferred prescription incentives on pharmacy practice and patient care. Results: 74 usable surveys were analyzed. Most pharmacists (74%) worked for employers who participated in prescription incentive promotions (e.g., $10 gift cards). Regarding quality of care, pharmacists perceived patients as being less likely to receive thorough drug interaction screenings (4.0 ± 1.4 [mean ± SD]) and reported medication-related problems "sometimes to very often" (3.0 ± 0.9) as a result of transferring prescriptions. Pharmacists also reported that patients commonly fill prescriptions regardless of medical necessity in order to receive incentives (4.1 ± 1.0). With respect to pharmacy practice, the majority believed that prescription incentives devalue the profession (4.3 ± 1.1) and should be eliminated (4.4 ± 1.0). Pharmacists were not inclined to believe that incentives were effective in attracting new patients and retaining their business (2.0 ± 1.0). Conclusion: Pharmacists believed that prescription incentives are ineffective tools for increasing patient base and may lead to lower quality of care for patients. Pharmacists view prescription incentives as devaluing the profession of pharmacy and exposing patients to medication-related problems.
- Medication errors
- Quality of care