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Scenario analysis of the future of clinical pharmacy

Leufkens, H. and Hekster, Y. and Hudson, S. (1997) Scenario analysis of the future of clinical pharmacy. Pharmacy World and Science, 19 (4). pp. 182-185. ISSN 0928-1231

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The role of clinical pharmacy in the health care system is changing rapidly. This change is almost universal among different countries and is related to developments in medical technology, health economics, informatics, socioeconomic status, and professional relations.Transitions to new systems of clinical pharmacy are difficult to anticipate. Even with well defined targets, it remains uncertain what the future of clinical pharmacy will bring us. The construction of plausible scenarios may help us better in preparing for the 'new world' ahead. At the annual congresses of ESCP in Prague 1995 (24th) and Lisbon 1996 (25th), a number of scenario analysis workshops with respect to the future of clinical pharmacy were organized. This paper gives a report of the results of these scenario sessions and reflects on the implications for future policy making. After we identified the driving forces behind the future of clinical pharmacy, various sets of assumptions were made and from them scenarios were constructed which are plausible: they 'could' happen. This analysis provided a logical framework in which we ultimately depicted three alternating stories of the future of clinical pharmacy, named 'CLERK', 'CONTROLLER' and 'CARE MANAGER'. These scenarios are intended to help clinical pharmasists to break free of familiar mental maps and to stimulate creative thinking on the future.