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Pharmacists in Pharmacovigilance: Can Increased Diagnostic Opportunity in Community Settings Translate to Better Vigilance?

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The pharmacy profession has undergone substantial change over the last two to three decades. Whilst medicine supply still remains a central function, pharmacist’s roles and responsibilities have become more clinic and patient focused. In the community (primary care), pharmacists have become important providers of healthcare as Western healthcare policy advocates patient self-care. This has resulted in pharmacists taking on greater responsibility in managing minor illness and the delivery of public health interventions. These roles require pharmacists to more fully use their clinical skills, and often involve diagnosis and therapeutic management. Community pharmacists are now, more than ever before, in a position to identify, record and report medication safety incidents. However, current research suggests that diagnostic ability of community pharmacists is questionable and they infrequently report to local or national schemes. The aim of this paper is to highlight current practice and suggest ways in which community pharmacy can more fully contribute to patient safety.

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Ethical standards

The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.

Funding and conflicts of interest

We state that we have full control of all primary data and that we agree to allow the journal to review the data if requested.

David Brown is an honorary research fellow of the UK Drug Safety Research Unit, Southampton. This is an associate organisation of the University of Portsmouth.

No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article. Paul Rutter, David Brown, Justine Howard and Christine Randall have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this article.

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Correspondence to Paul Rutter.

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Rutter, P., Brown, D., Howard, J. et al. Pharmacists in Pharmacovigilance: Can Increased Diagnostic Opportunity in Community Settings Translate to Better Vigilance?. Drug Saf 37, 465–469 (2014).

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