Purpose: Improved quality and safety in drug use is a public health goal of major importance. In Sweden, local drug and therapeutics committees (DTCs) have adopted the task of working for safe and rational drug use. This study aimed to explore how chairs conceived the role of the DTCs, to explore how information officers conceived their own role, and to determine whether the respondents included patients in their answers.
Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected using questionnaires and the answers were analysed according to phenomenographic method to identify conceptions. "Patient awareness" was studied by content analysis.
Findings: In both groups the prescribers were the focus of attention, and only a few respondents mentioned patients. A variation of four conceptions was found among chairs and three among information officers. It would be beneficial if DTCs used this knowledge in their development.
Originality/value: The importance of "patient awareness" within DTCs must be further explored.