Supporting Vulnerable and Medically Underserved Groups through Community Pharmacy

A special issue of Pharmacy (ISSN 2226-4787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2020) | Viewed by 5541

Special Issue Editors

School of Health Sciences, The University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2HA, UK
Interests: co-production; digitial educational interventions; medically under-served groups; patient-professional interaction; pharmacy practice research; research ethics

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Guest Editor
School of Pharmacy, Department of Family & Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA
Interests: demonstrating the value of pharmacists; interprofessional education and practice; population health; pharmacoeconomics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Clinical Sciences Department, MCW School of Pharmacy, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA
Interests: health disparities; medication adherence; community engagement; minority health; herbal medicine

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The right to physical and mental health is a universal human right. However, vulnerable patients and people that are medically under-served have higher rates of disease and ill-health and find accessing health and screening services challenging. In these cases, people’s experience with health services is variable, with many experiencing disadvantage or discrimination as a result of their status. People belonging to often marginalised groups (e.g. people with disabilities, homeless, home-bound, black and minority ethnic communities) experience significant inequitable access to care. This results in them experiencing poorer health outcomes when compared to the general population.

Improving fairness, social justice and addressing health disparities is a priority for our health systems. Community pharmacy is well placed to offer such support. Seen as ‘experts on medicines’, pharmacists are accessible through their extended opening hours and pharmacies are located in greater numbers in areas of highest deprivation.

We invite you to share your views and research that seeks to help the most vulnerable in our society. We are particularly interested in patient voices that are seldom heard, whether these be accounts of patients struggling to manage medicine regimens at home or interventions that seek to improve patient-professional engagement. We hope this Special Issue will highlight the significant problems that vulnerable and medically under-served groups face when managing their health and medicines. We also hope it will offer new insights and interventions that will tailor support to them.

Dr. Asam Latif
Founding Dean and Professor George E. MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPh
Chair/Assoc. Prof. Kajua Betsy Lor
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Co-production
  • Cultural competence
  • Health inequalities
  • Medically under-served groups
  • Medicines optimisation
  • Patient empowerment
  • Pharmacy practice research
  • Social inequalities in health

Published Papers (1 paper)

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13 pages, 253 KiB  
A Qualitative Exploration to Understand Access to Pharmacy Medication Reviews: Views from Marginalized Patient Groups
by Asam Latif, Baguiasri Mandane, Abid Ali, Sabina Ghumra and Nargis Gulzar
Pharmacy 2020, 8(2), 73; - 26 Apr 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5073
Background: Vulnerable patients from marginalized groups (e.g., people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, black and minority ethnic communities) experience higher rates of ill-health, inequitable access to healthcare and low engagement with screening services. Addressing these disparities and ensuring healthcare provision is impartial and [...] Read more.
Background: Vulnerable patients from marginalized groups (e.g., people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, black and minority ethnic communities) experience higher rates of ill-health, inequitable access to healthcare and low engagement with screening services. Addressing these disparities and ensuring healthcare provision is impartial and fair is a priority for the United Kingdom (UK) healthcare system. Aim: Using Levesque’s access conceptual framework, this study explored the views of patients from marginalized groups, specifically on how access to pharmacy services could be improved and their experiences of receiving a medication review service. Method: Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured interviews on patient experiences of pharmacy services and how access to these could be improved (n = 10). Interviews of patients who had received a medication review from their pharmacist were also conducted (n = 10). Using an interpretivist approach, five ‘demand-side’ dimensions of Levesque’s access conceptual framework were explored (ability to perceive a need for medication support, their ability to seek this support, ability to reach the pharmacy, ability to pay and engage). Results: The findings exposed the medicine, health and social care challenges of vulnerable people and how these are often not being adequately managed or met. Using the access formwork, we unpack and demonstrate the significant challenges patients face accessing pharmacy support. Discussion: Pharmacy organizations need to pay attention to how patients perceive the need for pharmacy support and their ability to seek, reach and engage with this. Further training may be needed for community pharmacy staff to ensure services are made accessible, inclusive and culturally sensitive. Effective engagement strategies are needed to enable the provision of a flexible and adaptable service that delivers patient-centred care. Policy makers should seek to find ways to reconfigure services to ensure people from diverse backgrounds can access such services. Full article
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