IS THE PHARMACIST-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP FAILING?

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

A consumer survey revealed that pharmacies may be missingan opportunity to bond with patients. Although consumersreported that they trust their pharmacist as a source of informationon medications, <1 of 4 actually talked with the pharmacistwhen last filling a prescription.

The survey, conducted by WilsonRx Reports, found that amajority of retail pharmacies are not promoting pharmacistinteraction—a key factor in creating loyal customers. "Pharmacistsare uniquely positioned to provide patient educationand counseling, yet few take advantage of the opportunity," saidpharmacist Jim Wilson, president of Wilson Health Information,which released the survey results.

The disadvantage, he said, "is that consumers may be missingthe chance to develop relationships with their pharmacists andlearn more about their medications and proper use. Customersare more satisfied and more loyal to their pharmacy, and morelikely to take their medications as prescribed, if they speak totheir pharmacist."

Of the 68,721 household consumers polled, 48% said they use>1 pharmacy to fill their prescriptions. Among the respondentswho use mail order for their prescriptions, 70% reported theyprobably or definitely would switch to their local pharmacy if theamount and price of the product were the same.

The survey also indicated that pharmacy chains continue to bethe most often used source of prescriptions, followed by mail, independent,food store, mass merchant, and clinic pharmacies.