Pharmacy preferred over GPs

health on the high street: london's oxford street

Nearly two-thirds of British people would prefer to see a pharmacist rather than a GP for minor ailments at least some of the time

New research from Sanofi and carried out by the polling company Kantar TNS surveyed 1200 people, reports the Pharmaceutical Journal.

It found that women were more likely than men to want pharmacist advice, with 70% saying they sometimes went to a pharmacy instead of a GP for help with minor self-treatable conditions.

Sixty-five per cent of people overall preferred the pharmacy under these conditions.

Older people were more likely to head to the pharmacy for advice, with 50% of survey participants aged 16-24 saying they would do so, while 70% of those in the 45-54 age group sought advice from pharmacy.

Less than a quarter (23%) didn’t go to pharmacies for advice, and

Other sources of information were Google, with 80% of respondents saying the search engine was the easiest place to get information; and GPs, with 29% saying they were easy to access. Nearly half (47%) said pharmacies were easy to access as well.

The survey follows another British inquiry which found that a pharmacy was the third-most popular shop or institution consumers wanted to see on their ideal high street – just pipped by banks and post offices.

However, despite the British love of community pharmacy, the country’s high streets are “losing more than a hundred pharmacies a year,” a report in the Daily Mirror warns.

It cites the case of the Lloydspharmacy group, which has closed or sold more than 190 branches since January 2017 as a result of funding cuts to the sector.

“The cracks in the UK’s healthcare sector are widening,” a spokesperson for PharmacyOutlet told the Mirror.

“With A&E departments and NHS hospitals struggling to cope with demand, it would be great to see pharmacies play a more central role in providing health and care services – but as more and more local pharmacies close, this is no longer a viable solution for everyone.”

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