Pharmacist awareness and views towards counterfeit medicine in Lebanon

Lydia Sholy, Paul Gard, Sian Williams, Angela Macadam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Pharmacists, as healthcare professionals, have patients’ well-being and safety as their primary concern. However, the safety and efficacy of treatments may be compromised by the availability of counterfeit medicine (CFM) which could have serious consequences for public health. Objectives: To assess pharmacist awareness and views towards CFM in Lebanon. Methods: The study used convenience sampling and selected pharmacists based on their willingness to participate and used a questionnaire as a tool to determine their experiences and views towards CFM. The questionnaires were completed in different regions in Lebanon. Key findings: A total of 223 pharmacists participated in the study, and all were able to define CFM, however were inconsistent in their definitions. The majority reported identifying CFM by the medicine’s effect (67.7%), followed by cost (66.8%). Almost 43% reported knowing of pharmacists who dispensed CFM. Additionally, participants reported that they believed that pharmacists who dealt with CFM were unprofessional (89.2%) and unethical (86.5%), and that they did it for the ‘easy money’ (87.9%) and large profit (86.5%). Conclusion: The study highlighted the need for additional CFM awarenesscampaigns with an emphasis on the role that pharmacists have in protecting patients from using CFM. In addition, there is a need for an official CFM definition that distinguishes between the different types of counterfeiting. Furthermore, the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health and regulatory authorities should control and secure the supply chain of medicine in the country and enforce the law.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Sholy, L., Gard, P., Williams, S. and MacAdam, A. (2017), Pharmacist awareness and views towards counterfeit medicine in Lebanon. Int J Pharm Pract., which has been published in final form at doi:10.1111/ijpp.12388. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


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