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A third of pharmacies give poor advice, survey finds

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1847 (Published 25 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1847
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    An undercover investigation has found that staff in UK pharmacies are giving unsuitable and potentially dangerous advice about some common illnesses and drugs. The problem is particularly bad in independently owned pharmacies, where half of the advice was judged to be poor.

    Recent years have seen pharmacists take on a wider public health role, with many giving advice on minor ailments and checking for health problems, says Which? (the consumer organisation). In May it sent undercover investigators into 101 pharmacies across the United Kingdom—including chains such as Boots and supermarkets—to test the competence of staff.

    The investigators acted out one of three different scenarios in each …

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