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Australian Families Unaware of Community Health Services

Pharmacy Guild - Community Pharmacy Benefits Consumers - News

Brisbane, Australia – 30 November 2016 – Research released today shows that Australian families still aren’t aware of the range of health services available via their local pharmacy.

A new study by Sanofi Consumer Healthcare has revealed that when in need of health advice, the majority of Australians (87%) automatically seek first line treatment from their GP, with figures showing they’re unaware of other potential healthcare options such as their local pharmacist.

The research also highlights the issue of the under-utilisation of pharmacists in local communities.

Brett Charlton, General Manager, Sanofi Consumer Healthcare, said community pharmacy already provides advice and treatment for many minor ailments such as coughs and colds, headaches, skin disorders and digestive issues to name a few. They are well qualified to carry out these services and have been trained to counsel and detect symptoms which may indicate more serious conditions that warrant referral to a GP.
“Many Australian pharmacies now offer a range of health services, such as blood pressure monitoring, screening for diabetes, respiratory disorders, and heart disease risk factors among others, in addition to private consultation rooms for patient support and comfort,” he said.
“However, what is apparent from the research is that very few consumers are aware of these services and healthcare expertise, demonstrating that more work is required in raising public awareness of this expanded offering in frontline healthcare.”

According to the research, more than half the population (59%) did not know their local pharmacy offered this level of healthcare, with more than a quarter (28%) unaware of the credentials and level of training required to become a fully qualified pharmacist.

Despite this, pharmacists are highly regarded members of the healthcare community, with the vast majority of Australians (60%) happy to utilise their services. Mr Charlton added:

“There are potentially significant benefits – both for consumers and the healthcare community – in creating greater awareness of the healthcare options available via local pharmacies.”

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