Community Pharmacy

Pharmacists key to driving successful self care strategy

The role of community pharmacists is pivotal to the successful development of self care and its more widespread adoption, according to the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) and the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), who have launched a new self care awareness campaign, entitled ‘Be Well this Winter – Think Pharmacy’.

The campaign will be rolled out through the extensive deployment of social media, as well as a series of posters to be displayed nationwide in retail pharmacies.

This campaign builds on the previously highly successful IPU/IPHA joint initiative launched earlier this year, ‘Self Care: taking charge of your health’, which placed a major emphasis on the role of the pharmacist as a key component in helping people to manage their own health.

Self care is a healthcare philosophy which emphasises the role of ordinary people in taking ownership of their health and wellbeing and includes taking actions to prevent and decrease the likelihood of disease and to restore health after illness or injury. It is the first step and first choice for Irish people who are taking an increasingly active role in their healthcare and looking to improve their health and well-being.

Research from Behaviour & Attitudes confirms that there is a clear desire from the majority of people (92%) to be involved in decisions about their own health and medication, with 80% expressing their view that they see their pharmacist as a key partner in maintaining their health.

Daragh Connolly, President of the Irish Pharmacy Union, said, “Promoting increased levels of self care in Ireland would lead to a far more efficient and effective system of healthcare. Embracing a philosophy of self care can lead to real, measurable savings in healthcare expenses and better outcomes for patients and pharmacists can play a critical role in this area.  Allowing pharmacists to work to their full scope will help to deliver better patient outcomes, by utilising our accessibility and professional capabilities to benefit patients, in partnership with our healthcare colleagues and the pharmaceutical industry.”

Dave Barrett, Chairman of the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association, said, “As well as the obvious benefits for individuals in taking a greater role in maintaining healthy lives, adoption of self care principles could also help the State manage the financial challenges of an ageing population and strained healthcare budgets. As people take care of their own health and self-treatable conditions, more healthcare resources can be used for patients with severe and chronic diseases. Our industry is committed to working with healthcare professionals, especially pharmacists who are often the first port of call for health information and advice, to support consumers to identify the most appropriate channel within the healthcare system.”

Source: IPU

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