Management of Minor Ailments by Community Pharmacists in Cebu, Philippines – An Exploratory Study

  • Gerard Lee L. See
  • Florencio V. Arce, Jr
Keywords: community pharmacist, minor ailments, nonprescription drugs, Philippines


Background. Community pharmacists play a central role in the management of minor ailments and their clinical
knowledge is vital in improving treatment outcomes of these ailments. The provision of minor ailment service
in developed countries has been successful yet the practice in the Philippines has not been documented.

Objectives. The aim of this study was to document the involvement of community pharmacists in the management
of minor ailments, the practices, and the perceived challenges in the provision of pharmacy service.

Methods. This was an exploratory descriptive study. Using qualitative research technique, a guided interview
questionnaire was employed for data gathering. The practices employed and perceived challenges encountered
by pharmacists were interpreted using conventional content analysis.

Results. Colds, cough, skin allergy, diarrhea were the four most common ailments managed by community
pharmacists. Pharmacists had underdeveloped roles in consultation. Community pharmacists were knowledgeable
on the causes of the minor ailments and the medications dispensed were compliant with approved product
indications. The absence of institutional guidelines (66%), lack of ailment-specific training (100%), insufficient
clinical skills (76.7%), and a dominant patient self-selection behavior for OTC medicines (73.3%) were perceived as
challenges in the provision of minor ailment services.

Conclusion. Community pharmacists managed common ailments with non-prescription medicines however
consultation roles were found to be underdeveloped.