A Nielsen survey commissioned by the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) found that patients nationwide are relying on their local pharmacy for health care knowledge, expertise and services.


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CACDS: Canadians turn to pharmacy for more than Rx

March 5th, 2012

TORONTO – A Nielsen survey commissioned by the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) found that patients nationwide are relying on their local pharmacy for health care knowledge, expertise and services.

CACDS said that of the nearly 5,900 households polled online, 72% indicated they have talked to their pharmacist about health issues beyond their prescriptions. What's more, 96% think it's important for their pharmacist to play a larger role and work closely with their doctor to optimize care.

The findings come as Canada holds Pharmacy Awareness Week, which began over the weekend and lasts until March 10.

"Pharmacists are highly trained health care professionals whose expertise is still underutilized by our health care system in Canada, and indeed around the world. That's all starting to change," stated Nadine Saby, CACDS president and chief executive officer. "Governments recognize the valuable role pharmacy plays in ensuring patients get the right medication and are able to take it correctly. Now, by enabling and providing funding for new services like medication reviews, injections and immunizations, and prescription renewals without a doctor's visit, patients are reaping the benefits in more convenient and timely access to professional health advice and guidance."

Of the 72% of respondents who have talked to a pharmacist about one or more health care issues other than filling a prescription, the most common subject was the treatment of minor ailments (41%), such as mild burns or insect bites, followed by advice on vitamins and supplements (26%) and dealing with adverse medication reactions (24%).

In managing diabetes, Canadians said they are taking some advantage of their pharmacy as an authoritative, accessible and convenient source of care. Still, only 9% of respondents reported talking to their pharmacist about managing the disease.

When it comes to choosing a pharmacy, the most common consideration cited was "trust in the pharmacy staff's knowledge and advice" (48%), followed by location (42%); pharmacist accessibility (32%); short wait time to fill prescriptions (30%); and pharmacy services offered (17%), such as medication counseling and blood pressure monitoring.

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