October 24, 2012
Many Patients Don’t Consult With Pharmacists Despite Knowledge of Their Training

Leesburg, VA—Results from a new survey suggest that pharmacists need to do more to promote their critical role in patient care.

While most respondents to the poll were aware that pharmacists have the most specialized training in medication management, relatively few said they have ever discussed drug regimens or new medications with their own pharmacists.

The survey sponsored by RxAlly, the pharmacy performance network, found that 63% of consumers responding to the survey knew about pharmacists’ level of training, but only 15% had ever discussed a medication maintenance regimen with a pharmacist and only 49% had discussed any new medication with a pharmacist. The poll was conducted online September 4–6, 2012 among 2,310 adults ages 18 and older by Harris Interactive.

In addition, only 18% of respondents said they would trust a pharmacist most to help guide and inform health care decisions for themselves and their families. While 72% said they would trust their doctor, followed by friends and family, spouses or significant others (36%), the Internet actually outpolled pharmacists with 22%.

What was surprising is that 76% agreed that pharmacists are equally as qualified to answer questions about prescription medications as doctors, yet only 25% said they regularly discuss their health with their pharmacist, and only 39% said they rely on pharmacists for medical advice.

“There is a significant discrepancy between patient-reported versus proven adherence rates, which underscores the need to leverage pharmacists’ specialized training to better educate patients about their medications and how to more correctly take them,” said Bruce Roberts, CEO of RxAlly. “Ongoing personalized pharmacist care involving regular conversations with a pharmacist is proven to increase adherence rates, improve patient health and reduce costs—a triple win for patients, pharmacists, and the entire U.S. health care industry.”

The importance of adherence was underscored by survey results. Only 89% of respondents said that they always take their medication as directed by their doctor or pharmacist.

In terms of other pharmacy services, only 27% of respondents said they have received a blood pressure screening in a pharmacy and even fewer, 22%, have received an in-pharmacy flu shot.

U.S. Pharmacist Social Connect