Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. David Holdford

Second Advisor

Dr. Gloria Bazzoli

Third Advisor

Dr. Norman Carroll

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Spencer Harpe

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Pramit Nadpara


Background: Pharmacy-related performance measures have gained significant attention in the transition to value-based healthcare. Pharmacy-level quality measures, including those developed by the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, are not yet publicly accessible. However, the publication of report cards for individual pharmacies has been discussed as a way to help direct patients towards high-quality pharmacies. This study aimed to measure the relative strength of patient preferences for community pharmacy attributes, including pharmacy quality. Additionally, this study aimed to identify and describe community pharmacy market segments based on patient preferences for pharmacy attributes.

Methods: This study elicited patient preferences for community pharmacy attributes using a discrete choice experiment (DCE) among a sample of 773 adults aged 18 years and older. Six attributes were selected based on published literature, expert opinion, and pilot testing feedback. The attributes included hours of operation, staff friendliness/courtesy, pharmacist communication, pharmacist willingness to establish a personal relationship, overall quality, and a drug-drug interaction specific quality metric. Participants responded to a block of ten random choice tasks assigned by Sawtooth v9.2 and two fixed tasks, including a dominant and a hold-out scenario. The data were analyzed using conditional logit and latent class regression models, and Hierarchical Bayes estimates of individual-level utilities were used to compare preferences across demographic subgroups.

Results: Among the 773 respondents who began the survey, 741 (95.9%) completed the DCE and demographic questionnaire. Overall, study participants expressed the strongest preferences for quality-related pharmacy attributes. The attribute importance values (AIVs) were highest for the specific, drug-drug interaction (DDI) quality measure, presented as, “The pharmacy ensured there were no patients who were dispensed two medications that can cause harm when taken together,” (40.3%) and the overall pharmacy quality measure (31.3%). The utility values for 5-star DDI and overall quality ratings were higher among women (83.0 and 103.8, respectively) than men (76.2 and 94.5, respectively), and patients with inadequate health literacy ascribed higher utility to pharmacist efforts to get to know their patients (26.0) than their higher literacy counterparts (16.3). The best model from the latent class analysis contained three classes, coined the Quality Class (67.6% of participants), the Relationship Class (28.3%), and the Convenience Class (4.2%).

Conclusions: The participants in this discrete choice experiment exhibited strong preferences for pharmacies with higher quality ratings. This finding may reflect patient expectations of community pharmacists, namely that pharmacists ensure that patients are not harmed by the medications filled at their pharmacies. Latent class analysis revealed underlying heterogeneity in patient preferences for community pharmacy attributes.


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