Background and importance Pharmacists, being highly accessible healthcare professionals, can handle requests by patients for pharmacist recommended medicines and refer to physicians when prescription medications or further assessment is required. This study seeks to establish whether patients are ready to trust the pharmacist with the prescribing of medicines and whether patients associate pharmacist prescribing with risks.
Aim and objectives To assess public perception regarding the risks of potential antibiotic prescribing by pharmacists.
Material and methods A pre-validated questionnaire was used.1 The questionnaire was disseminated to the general public in shopping malls and popular shopping streets over a 4 week period in Malta. Statistical analysis was undertaken using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) V.25.
Results A total of 400 participants completed the questionnaire (51% women, 33% aged >60 years). Forty-four per cent of participants stated they always visited the same pharmacy. Older participants (≥60 years) tended to visit the same pharmacy more often than the younger age group (p<0.001). Seventeen per cent admitted to asking their pharmacist for antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription and 51% expected to be prescribed antibiotics on visiting a doctor when they felt they had symptoms of an infection. Forty-two per cent associated a risk to patients if pharmacists were to recommend a selected number of antibiotics.
Conclusion and relevance The expectations of patients to be prescribed antibiotics as soon as they feel symptoms of an infection need to be addressed through proper education. There is a perception of risk with the prescribing of antibiotics by pharmacists.
References and/or acknowledgements 1. Attard Pizzuto M, Sivridas M, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM, Bouvy ML. Public perception of antibiotic prescribing by pharmacists. Poster presented at FIP, Seoul, South Korea, 2017.
No conflict of interest.
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