Survey Reveals the UK Public Remain Unaware of Support on Offer From Community Pharmacies

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13th January 2014 14:20 - Chemicals

Quality, easy-to-understand information about medicines is a key aspect of any treatment regimen, but the UK public still remains unaware of one of the best places to get advice.

That was one of the main findings from a survey of 1,500 members of the public conducted over the summer of 2013 as part of the Ask Your Pharmacist medicines optimisations campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the role of the community pharmacy in providing patient support.

All respondents involved in the campaign’s survey were taking at least one prescription medicine at the time, three-quarters (74%) said they would be more likely to take their medicines as prescribed if they understood more about them.

However, many were unaware of the support on offer from community pharmacies in their area to help with improved medicines. This lack of awareness can lead to dangerous habits, with the survey also noting that two-fifths (42%) of people had stopped taking a medicine without seeking medical advice and a fifth (21%) had shared medicines with friends or relatives.

The study also reveals that half of all respondents did not take their medicines as prescribed all of the time, costing the NHS in England an estimated £300 million each year.

Prof Rob Horne, a Professor of Behavioural Medicine, said:

“[The survey] highlights the need for tailored information that addresses patients' individual perceptual and practical barriers to medicines adherence and with a pharmacy on every highstreet, pharmacy teams are well placed to contribute to this.”

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