Survey finds pharmacists' role in health care is evolving

LISBON, Portugal Pharmacists' role has significantly changed, with more than 90% of pharmacists believing they are key to improving patients' health, according to a new international survey.

Pfizer, in collaboration with the International Pharmaceutical Federation, commissioned APCO Insight to survey more than 2,000 pharmacists across eight countries. The survey found that almost 3-in-4 pharmacists (73%) now provide patients with health promotion and management services. Nearly all (9-in-10) pharmacists agreed that more information and advice -- including information on specific medications and treatments -- are expected from pharmacists than ever before. Many of those surveyed (78%), however, said they are asked to provide such services without fair and proper compensation.

The survey also found that pharmacists are concerned about counterfeit medicines. With the prevalence of counterfeit medications in their countries, 63% believed current policies and technology are insufficient to deal with counterfeit medicines, while 77% found medicine packages should have machine-readable bar codes to ensure they are not counterfeit.

"Pharmacists' roles are changing, and we find ourselves increasingly working with patients and other healthcare professionals to prevent and treat disease. This survey shows that pharmacists welcome this expanded role, as it highlights what they like doing most -- helping deliver better patient outcomes -- while increasing visibility of pharmacists' expertise," said Ton Hoek, CEO of IPF.

Additional survey results can be found here.