Provision of medicines information in Australian community pharmacies
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Objective To assess the provision of consumer medicines information in Australian community pharmacies. Method Two methods were employed. One was an exit survey involving consumers just leaving a community pharmacy (n = 554). A total of 42 pharmacies from 6 states were selected randomly. Another was a telephone survey conducted with people aged 15 and over (n = 2,005). The sample was stratified by region at the level of capital city, regional urban and rural with minimum quotas for each category. Results In the exit survey, 13 (6.4%) of the 208 respondents collecting a script received written instructions such as the Consumer Medicines Information (CMI), including 7 (15%) receiving their prescription for the first time and 6 (4%) who came for a subsequent supply. In the phone survey, 876 (46%)of the 1,576 respondents who ever get prescriptions or OTC medicines declared they never or rarely receive written information on how to use a medicine apart from what is on the bottle or packaging. Conclusion The strategy of CMI distribution via pharmacies in Australia has failed to reach acceptable levels. Further strategies have to be implemented by the professional and consumer organisations to ensure consumers receive appropriate essential medicine information.
KeywordsAustralia Community pharmacy Consumer survey Medicine information Medicine policies Standards of practice
We acknowledge the contribution of Ms Frances Eltridge (Harrison Health Research) who assisted with the implementation of this study.
Conflicts of interests
This study was funded through the Third Community Pharmacy Agreement Research and Development Grants Program managed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
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