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The Future of E-Pharmacy and E-Prescription in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Dissertation Sample)


The task was writing dissertation on the Future of E-Pharmacy and E-Prescription in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


The Future of E-Pharmacy and E-Prescription in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
A Thesis
Presented to

In Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Business Administration
Saud Salem Bawazeer
September 2013
I declare that all material included in this project is the end result of my own work and that due acknowledgment has been given in the bibliography and references to all sources be they printed, electronic or personal.
Signed: ___________________________
Date: ___________________________
© Saud Bawazeer (2013)
I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to a number of individuals without whom my dream to obtain a master degree would have been aborted such as my father Al-Shaikh Salem Bawazeer, My mother Al-S, my brother Sami Bawazeer and my great friend Jiashan Li and .
I am eternally grateful to you all and will never be able to repay you for all you have done to help me make my commitment a reality.
Electronic pharmacy (e-pharmacy) is a positive development strategy that ought to be embraced and marketed. Broadly, this study sought to explore the future of e-pharmacy in Saudi Arabia (SA) in light of the prevailing marketing environment. Specifically, the study sought to: first examine the extent to which the electronic pharmacy has been beneficial both to the customers and suppliers in areas where they have been implemented. Second ascertain the advantages and disadvantages of electronic pharmacy. Third assess the extent to which Saudi Arabia prepared for e-prescription and e-pharmacy in Saudi Arabia; and fourth Make recommendations on whether Electronic-prescription (e-prescription) and e-pharmacy should be adopted in Saudi Arabia. Secondary sources, interviews and survey were used to address the research questions. The study indicates that the business benefits of electronic pharmacy to the supplier and customer is as a result of decrease in the cost of operations. This is explained by the fact that electronic pharmacy results into improved process efficiency enhanced catalogue management and also decreased operational expenses. The study further points out that electronic pharmacy leads to market growth through the decrease of geographic hurdles as well as developed customer service delivery. It points out that one of the merits of e-pharmacy is that it results into an improvement of patient safety and quality of care, it is legible and reduces errors resulting from translation and protects against prescription alteration. Moreover it indicates that the method is able to track an appropriate usage of the medication as well as has the ability to create current medication lists with report generations. The limitations of this electronic system included high cost of buying and installing the system, increased time compared to paper prescription and inability to prescribe controlled substances electronically which is a potential source for a new set of errors in an electronic environment. The findings indicate myriads of merits that accrue from e-pharmacy and e-prescription practices , which could equally be harnessed by Saudi Arabia.
Table of Contents
 TOC \o "1-6" Acknowledgments  PAGEREF _Toc235711119 \h v
Abstract  PAGEREF _Toc235711120 \h v
1.1 Background Information  PAGEREF _Toc235711122 \h 2
1.1.1 E-prescription.  PAGEREF _Toc235711123 \h 3
1.1.2 Internet pharmacy  PAGEREF _Toc235711124 \h 4
1.1.3 E-pharmacy.  PAGEREF _Toc235711125 \h 5
1.2 Problem Statement  PAGEREF _Toc235711126 \h 6
1.4 Research Questions  PAGEREF _Toc235711127 \h 7
1.4 Justification and Relevance of the Study  PAGEREF _Toc235711128 \h 8
1.5 Scope and Delimitations of the Study  PAGEREF _Toc235711129 \h 9
1.6 Organization of the Study  PAGEREF _Toc235711130 \h 9
2.1 Conceptual and Theoretical Framework of Electronic Pharmacy  PAGEREF _Toc235711132 \h 10
2.2 Conceptual Framework  PAGEREF _Toc235711133 \h 10
2.2.1 Electronic prescription  PAGEREF _Toc235711134 \h 10
2.2.2 Internet Pharmacy  PAGEREF _Toc235711135 \h 11
2.2.3 Formulary  PAGEREF _Toc235711136 \h 12
2.2.4 Formulary Management  PAGEREF _Toc235711137 \h 12
2.3 Theoretical Framework  PAGEREF _Toc235711138 \h 13
2.3.1 Selective exposure theory  PAGEREF _Toc235711139 \h 13
2.3.2 Technology adoption lifecycle model  PAGEREF _Toc235711140 \h 13
2.4 Review of the Studies and Literatures  PAGEREF _Toc235711141 \h 14
2.4.1 Determinants of consumer choice  PAGEREF _Toc235711142 \h 15
2.4.2 Environmental Factors Necessary for Successful E-Prescription and E-Pharmacy System  PAGEREF _Toc235711143 \h 15
2.4.3 The Studies and Literatures on E-Pharmacy  PAGEREF _Toc235711144 \h 17
2.3.4 E-pharmacy in Saudi Arabia  PAGEREF _Toc235711145 \h 25
2.3.5 Review of an Empirical Study on the E-Pharmacy in Saudi Arabia  PAGEREF _Toc235711146 \h 25
2.4 The Research Gap  PAGEREF _Toc235711147 \h 26
3.1 Research Purpose  PAGEREF _Toc235711149 \h 28
3.2 Theoretical Approach  PAGEREF _Toc235711150 \h 29
3.3 Methodological Approach  PAGEREF _Toc235711151 \h 30
3.4 Research Strategy  PAGEREF _Toc235711152 \h 31
3.5 Sampling  PAGEREF _Toc235711153 \h 32
3.5.1 Defining the study target population  PAGEREF _Toc235711154 \h 32
3.5.2 Choosing sampling technique  PAGEREF _Toc235711155 \h 33
3.5.3 Measurements of constructs  PAGEREF _Toc235711156 \h 34
3.6 Pilot Study  PAGEREF _Toc235711157 \h 35
3.7 Data Collection  PAGEREF _Toc235711158 \h 36
3.8 Data Analysis  PAGEREF _Toc235711159 \h 37
3.9 Ethics  PAGEREF _Toc235711160 \h 37
3.10 Study Limitations  PAGEREF _Toc235711161 \h 38
3.11 Summary  PAGEREF _Toc235711162 \h 39
4.1 Research question 1 and 2: Findings, Analysis and Discussions  PAGEREF _Toc235711164 \h 41
4.1.1 Benefits of electronic pharmacy to the supplier and customer  PAGEREF _Toc235711165 \h 41 Benefits to the supplier.  PAGEREF _Toc235711166 \h 41 Benefits to the customer  PAGEREF _Toc235711167 \h 42
4.1.2 Survey Findings and Analysis  PAGEREF _Toc235711168 \h 43
4.1.3 Discussions  PAGEREF _Toc235711169 \h 49
4.2 Research Question 3: Findings and Analysis  PAGEREF _Toc235711170 \h 51
4.2.1 Interview findings.  PAGEREF _Toc235711171 \h 55
4.2.2 Discussions  PAGEREF _Toc235711172 \h 56
Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations  PAGEREF _Toc235711173 \h 57
BIBLIOGRAPHY  PAGEREF _Toc235711177 \h 72

List of Tables
 TOC \c "Table" Table 1: The results of the respondents to the question if the patient’s safety was higher in electronic pharmacy as compared to other techniques.  PAGEREF _Toc235725912 \h 48
List of Figures
 TOC \c "Figure" Figure 1: The percentage of the respondent’s awareness of electronic pharmacy.  PAGEREF _Toc235725924 \h 44
Figure 2: A pie chart indicating the respondents results when they were asked if they do practice electronic prescribing  PAGEREF _Toc235725925 \h 45
Figure 3: A bar graph showing the percentages of response to the question if Saudi Arabia needs electronic pharmacy  PAGEREF _Toc235725926 \h 47

The use electronic pharmacy for medical purposes has been introduced and adopted by some of the countries across the world, such as North America, Europe, and United Kingdom (Terri et al., 2011). In these countries, the electronic pharmacy solutions such as electronic prescription, internet pharmacy and e- pharmacy services have been offered by pharmacies and have now become commonplace services (Kierkgaar, 2013). The e-pharmacy has been beneficial and cost effective in terms of expenditure. In e-pharmacy there is wide range of benefits which includes: providing to the pharmacists or medical practitioners a safely and effective methods of managing the medication of the patients and the relevant records. As opposed to the manual way of handwritten prescriptions which could get lost and has got difficulty in retrieving the information regarding the patients medication including drug plans .The prescribers will have enough time to access the eligibility of the information to the patients’ drugs plan by selecting the medication for the patient and to avoid cost in making unnecessary phone calls inquiring on the progress of the patient. On the side of the patients, it provides safety and quality medication since there is o oral miscommunication as in the case of the handwritten prescription. The patient is also able to save on the cost of phone calling and travelling to pharmacist in order to be prescribed new drugs, or wanted to give update regarding the condition, in this case the information to the pharmacists will be electronically transmitted thereby cutting down the expenses to patients.
Even though e-prescribing has got benefits, it also has got some limitations, for example, the cost of purchasing, maintenance and installation of software can be expensive especially to starting ups pharmacists (Kierkgaard, 2013). This can be further worsened to those pharmacists in report areas may fail to get a profit from it .As common with many electronic devices, there could be erroneous alerts to the patient which is very dangerous in the medication programs of the ...
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