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Poll: Pharmacists say they're key to improving health
August 31st, 2010
LISBON, Portugal – More than 90% of pharmacists believe they are key to improving patient health, according to a survey commissioned by the International Pharmaceutical Federation and Pfizer Inc.
The poll results, released this week, showed that nearly three in four pharmacists (73%) now provide patients with health promotion and management services. Also, about nine in 10 pharmacists agree that more information and advice — including on specific medications and treatments — are expected from pharmacists than ever before.
Yet most pharmacists (78%) say that they are asked to provide additional services, such as advice, without fair and proper compensation.
"Pharmacists' roles are changing, and we find ourselves increasingly working with patients and other health care professionals to prevent and treat disease. This survey shows that pharmacists welcome this expanded role, as it highlights what they like doing most — helping deliver better patient outcomes — while increasing visibility of pharmacists' expertise," stated Ton Hoek, chief executive officer of the International Pharmaceutical Federation.
"However, we also see an education and income gap that will need to be closed to ensure the pressure on current pharmacists isn't too great, and so that we can continue to attract the best and brightest to the profession in the future," Hoek added.
Other survey indicate pharmacists' concerns about the issue of counterfeit medicines. About 61% say the prevalence of counterfeit medication is a serious issue in their country, and 63% believe current policies and technology are insufficient to deal with counterfeit medicines. In addition, 77% believe medicine packages should have machine-readable bar
codes to ensure they are not counterfeit.
The global survey, which aimed to better understand the needs, concerns and attitudes of pharmacists, was conducted by APCO Insights. Interviews were held with more than 2,000 community, retail and hospital pharmacists in eight countries — Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States — between April and June 2010.
"Clearly, pharmacists and the pharmaceutical industry share some similar concerns relative to patient's health. We both want to ensure that pharmacists have the right knowledge and tools to educate patients about their medicine as well as to ensure patients receive safe, effective and quality medicines, not counterfeit ones," commented Dr. Emma Andrews, Pfizer's director of external medical affairs. "Pfizer looks forward to continuing to support, through appropriate channels, pharmacist education programs that will ultimately translate into better outcomes for patients and health care systems globally."