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#289
A very interesting report. One of the main problems appears to be lack of patient counselling and I agree, not enough of it occurs. Perhaps the reason is commercial - there is no fee for counselling, only for dispensing - although I also accept that the two things should form part of the one process. Regrettably, many pharmacies these days are enormous enterprises owned by corporates. The days of small independently owned pharmacies, where the owner is most likely the pharmacist dispensing your prescription, seem to be over. A lot of the forces that have made pharmacies larger in size rather than larger in numbers are about containing the overall cost of medication. Larger enterprises have economies of scale that allow for the distribution of prescription and over-the-counter medications at lower margins. Although the public benefits from having access to medications at a better price, with more pharmacists working for wages, rather than owning their own enterprises, perhaps there is less incentive to stand out in terms of really good service. This could be especially the case if salaried pharmacists are expected to meet targets in terms of Rx numbers per hour and that sort of thing. If pharmacists do not take the trouble to provide contemporary information and counselling to the consumer, the time might come when the role is performed by technicians only. After all, studies show that pharmacists are no less likely to make errors than pharmacy technicians - (in terms of clerical errors at least). Most errors are in fact of a clerical rather than clinical nature - wrong drug selected, wrong strength selected etc.

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