Excerpts from an article in The Pharmaceutical Journal:
Survey results show that patients are willing to ignore pharmacy advice with regards to medication side effects, with 15% saying they would lie to pharmacy staff to get hold of a medicine.
Patients are putting their health at risk by ignoring pharmacists’ advice when taking common medicines, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has warned.
A survey of 1,047 patients conducted across the UK for the NPA in September 2018, revealed that 41% believe that the information provided on medicine leaflets exaggerate the risks of side effects. As a result, over a quarter of patients (27%) said they would buy a medicine from elsewhere even if a pharmacist advised them not to take it.
Meanwhile, 15% said they have lied about their health to a member of staff in a pharmacy to get hold of a medicine.
Leyla Hannbeck, director of pharmacy at the NPA, said: “If used inappropriately, medicines have the power to harm as well as to heal, even medicines you can pick up from a supermarket shelf or a pound shop.” “It’s important to take professional advice and, in particular, to have a full and frank dialogue with your local pharmacist.”
She added that patients should “feel free to challenge” advice from a pharmacist, who then “should welcome the opportunity to reassure” patients and discuss alternatives.
Publishing the survey, the NPA said at least 6% of emergency re-admissions to hospital are caused by adverse drug reactions, costing the NHS an estimated £98.5m per year.
This comes after research published in May 2018 suggested medication-related harm in older people could be costing the NHS around £400m per year, owing to hospital re-admissions.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical JournalDOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205707