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Patients ready to do more with pharmacists

Patients ready to do more with pharmacists

April 2015 – An expansive poll of more than 2,900 Canadians tells a compelling story of people’s willingness to do more with pharmacists as healthcare providers. From vaccinations to chronic disease management and prescribing for common ailments, Canadians appear to be very receptive to pharmacists expanding their role well beyond the traditional functions of dispensing and counseling for prescriptions.

Commissioned by the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) and conducted by Abacus Data in February 2015, detailed results with numerous breakdowns, including by province, age and gender are available in three reports at www.pharmacists.ca/pam. The survey also asked about rates of flu vaccinations and adherence to medications.

“Our intent with this survey was two-fold: to gain a greater understanding of the public’s perceptions of pharmacists and the services they provide, and to better understand their willingness to work with pharmacists in new and expanded ways,” says Perry Eisenschmid, CEO of CPhA, who is also a member of the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy’s Board of Directors. “On both those fronts, the public has been clear that they trust and appreciate the services that pharmacists provide, and that they would be more than willing to visit pharmacists for additional purposes.” Among the results:

  • 85% of Canadians agree that pharmacists have the education and training to do more than fill prescriptions, with 43% strongly agreeing;
  • when asked if they see pharmacists as healthcare providers or fillers of prescriptions, 51% view them as both, 21% view them primarily as healthcare providers and 28% view them as fillers of prescriptions only;
  • 78% trust their pharmacists’ advice on medicines and 67% trust their advice for the management of common ailments such as cold or flu;
  • Four out of five (82%) would consider making an appointment with their pharmacist to review and discuss their medications;
  • 79% are willing to receive the flu shot or other vaccinations from pharmacists;
  • 78% would consider going to pharmacists for prescribing services for minor ailments;
  • Three out of four (75%) would consider smoking cessation programs provided by pharmacists;
  • More than two-thirds (69%) would meet with pharmacists to come up with a plan to manage chronic conditions;
  • 66% would go to pharmacists to be screened for medical conditions; and
  • About a third of patients (36%) say they know their pharmacist by name, increasing to 46% among those aged 60 and older.

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