Published Online: Friday, December 1, 2006

Communication between pharmacists and patients is increasing, and consumers are more likely than ever to seek advice from pharmacists about drugs, the American Pharmacists Association's (APhA) new pharmacy consumer survey found.

Nearly 2 of every 3 persons (65%) filling a prescription for the first time were likely to ask their pharmacist a question, concluded the APhA survey. At the same time, however, officials at the pharmacy group were distressed to learn that personal relations between pharmacists and patients appear to be suffering.

Only 20% of the consumers polled for the 2006 survey said that they are on a first-name basis with their pharmacist. This finding is a source of concern for APhA because "previous pharmacy consumer surveys have found that patients who know their pharmacist by name are much more likely to seek advice."

"There's a clear connection between [consumers], their relationship with the pharmacist, and their knowledge of how to use medications," said APhA Pharmacists Month Spokesperson Karen Reed, BPharm. "Without the right knowledge, medications can be ineffective—and downright risky."

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