Mapping of the collaboration between General Practitioners and pharmacists in Norway
On behalf of the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Oslo Economics has undertaken a mapping of the extent of collaboration between General Practitioner services and pharmacists in Norway and described the ongoing work in National Health Service England on increasing the utilization of pharmacist competencies in interprofessional teams with General Practitioners (GPs) and other health personnel. Professor in Social Pharmacy Anne Gerd Granås and Professor in Pharmacology Espen Molden have contributed with their insights.
Our findings indicate that there is a quite limited extent of collaboration between GPs and community pharmacists today. For successful collaborations, it seems that prior knowledge of each other’s competencies is key.
The pharmacists that we have talked to state that they have competencies that are not fully utilized in their daily work. The GPs are mainly quite positive towards collaborating with pharmacists hired in municipalities, while expressing worry that community pharmacists are driven by commercial interests. Many of both the GPs and pharmacists further state that in order to enhance incentives for collaboration one should create natural meeting-points, efficient digital solutions, and financial incentives.
Our study thus finds that more initiatives are needed to ensure better collaboration between the two professions. Experience from England shows that it is essential that pharmacists serve to relieve GPs of some of their workload, and that authorities create a framework that enhances collaboration. Measures have already been taken in Norway to increase the knowledge across professions – one initiative has been to create a more interdisciplinary focus in University.