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Methods patients use to purchase over-the-counter medicines for misuse


What happens when the pharmacist has counselled the patient and sent them on their way hoping that their message has sunk in? The patient just shrugs their shoulders and remembers to add that pharmacy to their list of places not to be visited again. Pharmacy's input to the process ends when the patient leaves the premises. How, much better it would be if the pharmacist could offer some hope, to be able to refer the patient to drug services where help could be given if the patient wanted it. I had a problem with otc codeine for a number of years and I was always aware of the impotency of the pharmacist in this field. After I was cured, I met a gentlemen who was CEO of a drug services who shared my concern. Together, we started a scheme whereby anyone suspected by a pharmacist or staff with an OTC problem could be referred to drug services for help. We held an evening information meeting for all pharmacists in the locality to tell them of the scheme. However, our audience is not at all easy to reach. These are the people who are "respectable addicts" who if asked, would not identify with being an addict and certainly would not want to be treated alongside Schedule 2 addicts. From reports I have had the scheme is working well, because the people referred by pharmacists are treated with respect for their feelings. Thus, while it is good to be alert to people who, may be misusing otc products, pharmacy has a much bigger part to play. After all you wouldn't send someone away with a new inhaler without explaining how it works. Pharmacy extends much further than the shop door.

Posted date

6 FEB 2017

Posted time



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