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Health Policy. 2004 Feb;67(2):207-14.

The organisation and development of primary care pharmacy in the United Kingdom.

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Pharmacy Practice and Medicines Management Group, School of Healthcare Studies, Baines Wing, University of Leeds, P.O. Box 214, Leeds LS2 9UT, UK.


Primary care pharmacists carry out clinical and administrative work directly for family doctors and primary care organisations. They are a relatively recent innovation and their role in the United Kingdom (UK)'s National Health Service (NHS) is still developing. The economic liberalization of the NHS in the 1990s seems to have provided a major stimulus for the growth of primary care pharmacy. The establishment of the new professional group was not linked to a deliberate plan or change in health policy with respect to pharmacist development. Primary care pharmacy practice is much more varied and flexible than traditional pharmacy practice in the community and hospitals. Standards and professional organisation for primary care pharmacy are slowly emerging. Modernization of the NHS is providing many new opportunities, which primary care pharmacists are well placed to take advantage of. Traditional community pharmacy faces many problems unless it can learn to develop alongside primacy care pharmacy. Pharmaceutical care is set to improve in the United Kingdom, but the precise nature of future services and providers remains uncertain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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