Monday, March 09, 2009

Bitter pill for 'uncaring' pharmacists

From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Suburban pharmacies sheltered from supermarket competition routinely failed to live up to their claims of being caring professionals, according to the consumer organisation, Choice.

The consumer group has seized on fresh research that says pharmacies are failing to give customers advice on drugs. It wants consumers to have a voice in the secretive negotiations between the Pharmacy Guild and the Government over the billions of taxpayer dollars paid to pharmacists to provide dispensing services.

University of South Australia researchers have found that nearly half the customers surveyed said they rarely got advice on drugs from pharmacists.

This was despite the $5.44 pharmacists receive from the Government each time they dispensed a prescription, in adddition to their retail mark-up.

"Most consumers are not routinely given or offered written or oral medicine information at the time a medicine is dispensed," concludes a report by the university's School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences. ...more

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