Editorials

The role of pharmacists in primary care

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39213.660394.80 (Published 24 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1066
  1. Peri J Ballantyne, assistant professor
  1. Department of Sociology, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 7B8
  1. periballantyne{at}trentu.ca

    Needs reconsideration in light of the evidence of an unfavourable impact on patient outcomes

    The National Health Service recently launched Choosing health through pharmacy,1 an initiative aimed at enhancing the contribution of pharmacists to improving the public's health and reducing health inequalities. The initiative assumes that, on the basis of their knowledge, skills, and proximity to the public, pharmacists are an untapped resource for health in the United Kingdom. However, evidence that pharmacists' involvement with the public improves health outcomes is mixed.2 3

    This week's BMJ includes two studies about the role of community pharmacists in primary health care.4 5 In the first, Salter and colleagues explore the role of pharmacists in giving advice to older patients during medication review.4 They find that although many opportunities were available for pharmacists to offer advice, information, and instructions to patients, this was often resisted or rejected. This caused “interactional difficulties” during consultations between pharmacists and patients. In the second study, Holland and colleagues report a randomised controlled trial assessing whether medication review and advice by community pharmacists reduced hospital admissions or mortality in …

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