Background Given the burden of unfortunate economic conditions in Greece, hospital pharmacists find themselves at the crossroads of different approaches to patient treatment options, trying to ensure the patient gets the best treatment from both the financial and medical point of view.
Purpose To highlight the importance of hospital pharmacists’ role in the ‘communication chain’ within and beyond the hospital.
Materials and Methods Everyday practise experience (e.g. frequently asked questions) at the hospital including communication with patients, doctors and the hospital administration has been taken into account in addition to the Hellas Health IV survey (sample size: 1008 persons).
Results Everyday experience shows that the majority of patients don’t really understand why there is a change (e.g. generic substitution) in their treatment and they insist on it not being changed. The survey showed that 63% didn’t know the meaning of generic medicine and only 26% of those who knew were sufficiently informed to realise that the generic version is therapeutically equivalent to the original brand.
Conclusions It is important for hospital pharmacists to be aware of developments in health care communication, for example to be able to recommend on-line resources to patients about the treatment of their disease and use of generic drugs. Moreover they have to develop and improve the required skills in medical and financial issues as they are important stakeholders in the chain of health promotion in the hospital.
No conflict of interest.
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