The development of a relative-value scale of community pharmacists' effort in processing prescriptions

Sylvie Poirier, David A. Knapp, Yves Lepage, Thomas Blass, Stuart M Speedie, Donald O. Fedder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study evaluated three dimensions (time, cognition, communication) of pharmacists' effort associated with processing prescriptions and related the pharmacists' effort required to various prescription characteristics. The prescription characteristics investigated were drug class, method of payment, age of the patient, status of the prescription (new or refill), and types of drug-related problems (excessive dose, duplicative therapy, noncompliance). A questionnaire containing 5 prescriptions with varying characteristics was mailed to 1,524 community pharmacists in Maryland. Using an equal-interval visual analogue scale, respondents were asked to evaluate the time, cognition, communication, and effort they would require to process the prescriptions. ANOVAs with repeated measures were performed to determine the impact of each prescription characteristic on time, cognition, communication, and effort scores. The questionnaire was returned by 48% of the pharmacists. Time, cognition, and communication explained between 24% and 38% of the variance in the effort scores. Pharmacists' perception of effort was approximately double when a prescription involved a drug-related problem (DRP) such as drug interaction or an excessive dosage. Pharmacists perceived the effort to be increased by approximately 50% when the prescription involved a DRP such as noncompliance with pharmacotherapy. The age of the patient or method of payment did not influence the perceived effort. The drug class prescribed had a small effect on the effort perceived necessary to process prescriptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-84
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Research in Pharmaceutical Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


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