Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Communication between pharmacists and patients is increasing, and consumersare more likely than ever to seek advice from pharmacists aboutdrugs, the American Pharmacists Association's (APhA) new pharmacy consumersurvey found.

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

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

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