Pharmacy Survey – Primary Research


I created a survey for my focus to grasp the public’s perception of the pharmacy and the role of the pharmacist.

This survey is a Design Research method for a course I am taking at The Ohio State University. The course’s focus is on how design can be used to improve public health, my overarching topic in this course is on pharmaceutical literacy. This survey will help me grasp the public’s perception of the pharmacy and the pharmacists within it.

This survey was posted on several of my social channels, where my friends and family, and followers could take it. Most of the participants are located in Ohio, while some were from Pennsylvania. There were 23 responses.

1. What pharmacy do you go to?

2. How often do you go to the pharmacy?

3. What do you think the role of the pharmacist is? (Check all that apply)

  • To distribute prescription drugs (100%)
  • To maintain an accurate inventory of medications (87%)
  • To counsel patients in understanding how to properly take their prescribed medications (82.6%)
  • To assist patients in solving problems, such as identifying my old medication or finding an over-the-counter solution to minor health issues they may have (65.2%)
  • To collaborate with a patient’s physician to discuss potential incompatibility issues with the patient’s prescriptions (34.8%)
  • To counsel patients in medication therapy (21.7%)
  • To make medication (17.4%)
  • To advise patients about general health topics, such as diet, exercise, and stress management (13%)

4. Do you view the pharmacist as a key player in improving your knowledge of the medication you are prescribed?

  • Yes (73.9%)
  • No (21.6%)

5. When you have a question about how to properly take your medication, who are you most likely to ask?

6. In the past year, how often did you consult a pharmacist about how to properly take your prescribed medication?

7. How do you typically interact with your pharmacist?

  • I just interact with them to pickup medication, I don’t really speak with them unless they need my information, etc. (69.6%)
  • I interact with them to pickup medication, but I also I ask them questions about my medication (21.6%)
  • I interact with them to pickup medication, but I also ask them questions about other health-related issues I am having along with questions about my medication (0%)

  • Other: I have gotten to know my pharmacist really well and ask them questions about what I should take when it is a minor illness (cold, rash, etc.). I am only on birth control so I haven’t had new prescriptions in a while. (1 Person’s Write-In)

8. In the past year, how often did you need clarification about how to properly take your prescribed medication?

9. What comes to mind when you think of a pharmacist? (Short Answer)

  • Expensive
  • Good job, good money.
  • Whitecoat and blue name tag
  • Extremely intelligent
  • The check out clerk of medicines
  • Money bags
  • An expert on prescriptions
  • Incompetence
  • The person who distributes my medication and can answer questions about them if needed.
  • Where to get prescriptions
  • Distributing drugs
  • The person who is in charge of ‘selling’ the medicine prescribed from the doctor.
  • Someone behind a counter at a local pharmacy in the medicinal section of the store.
  • Maintaining by medication routine.
  • Med distributor
  • Someone in a white coat
  • Someone who offers medicine from Doctor’s request.
  • Knowledge, money, success, vital
  • Counting pills

10. How do you view pharmacists? What value do they have to you and your medication?

  • I like that the pharmacists I have interacted with recently are looking out for me with pricing. They’ll let me know when a price seems way too high.
  • I believe they’re important, but they are more valued by people who have to take multiple medications daily.
  • I don’t really like pharmacists or the pharmacy in my experience they usually give me the wrong medication (since I’m diabetic almost every time they give me the wrong size needles or forget to give me them). It usually takes forever and my online account will say my medicine is ready but when I go there it’s not.
  • Pharmacists are extremely knowledgeable about medications and what can or cannot be combined. If I have any doubts or worries about mixing medications I will ask the pharmacist. They have had many years of school and I feel are the experts.
  • I don’t view them as having as much knowledge as they probably do because I never talk to them (this is also probably bc I hardly ever have to go to them- haven’t since I was much younger and still had to go with my mom).
  • I view pharmacists as the main source for information about medications. They have great value in my opinion because I trust their knowledge about my medication and how it could positively or negatively affect me.
  • White lab coat, incredibly busy, behind the counter measuring things and pouring pills into bottles, and staring intently at the computer screen while I wait for someone to come help me.
  • They are vital to the healthcare process. They are extremely valuable. Even though I do not talk to them a lot, they are for sure vital to the process of healthcare.
  • They are knowledgeable in drug interactions, and also helpful with OTC suggestions. I think they are valuable in the care process.
  • I view them positively for the most part, but I know people get annoyed or distrustful with how expensive things are.
  • They are important for the distribution of prescription medication and can be a convenient place for a flu shot.
  • I think my particular pharmacists is super knowledgeable and I trust the information I receive from her.
  • They are important, I try not to get sick which I avoid taking medication.
  • They are knowledgeable about prescriptions and can help patients.
  • Someone who has knowledge about prescription drugs.
  • Someone I trust they have to be 100 % accurate.
  • Neutral, legal drug dealers.
  • Super helpful.
  • Incompetence.
  • Amazing!

This survey helped me understand and clarify how the public feels about the pharmacist. From this, I gained that 73% of participants view that pharmacists are a key player in improving a person’s medical knowledge on their prescriptions, but less than half ask questions when they are at their pharmacy. What’s also interesting is that question 8, the roles of the pharmacist, was a trick question because all of the roles listed were roles of pharmacists. However, the actual making of medication is not technically something they do anymore. Overall, the perceptions were mixed. Some view them as good and viable, while others view them as incompetent. I think that there is a lot of frustration when dealing with the pharmacy because it is the point of sale, so a lot of the resentment and blame of the cost gets placed on them. This is something that seems to be a recurring theme in my workshops and interviews as well.

Cover Image Source: Freepik