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otc medsAugust 5 2015

A new pharmacy audit will record the reasons why a request for an over the counter medicine may be turned down.

Announcing the audit, Pharmacy Voice said: “Practice-based audits can be used to gain data about what is happening in the pharmacy as a prompt for working with other healthcare professionals to improve safety, quality and the whole patient experience.”

This audit into the non-supply of products to patients seeking self care is being undertaken “as a mechanism to build strong data about the important role that pharmacy teams play in contributing to patient care.”

Contractors in England are required to run a practice-based audit annually as part of their terms of service. Pharmacy Voice is urging all community pharmacies to take part in the audit and participating pharmacies should run the audit for one week at some point before November 30.

Pharmacy Voice’s objectives are to “explore the reasons why patients/customers may leave the pharmacy without being provided with the specific OTC medication that they requested. This audit will enable us to gather quantitative data about:

  • patients/customers who are unable/unwilling to pay for self-care in respect of medicines
  • patients/customers whose requests for ‘self care’ are not met on the basis of their inappropriateness
  • pharmacy staff signposting of patients to other providers (eg health and social care services or support organisations) who can supply the necessary assistance.”

Reasons suggested for why a product may not be supplied or the patient decides against buying the product include:

  • pharmacy advice is sufficient and no product is needed
  • the product price
  • there are concerns about suspected misuse/abuse of the requested product
  • the product may be inappropriate for the condition or the patient
  • there may be legal reasons for not supplying the product (eg the age of the patient)
  • the consultation requires onward referral

Pharmacy Voice has produced guidance on how to complete the audit, as well as a ‘tally sheet’ and a ‘summary sheet’ which can be downloaded. Branches in larger companies maybe asked to collect data and forward it to a company lead who will collate company data before sending it on to Pharmacy Voice.

Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice, commented: “Pharmacy Voice recognises that there is a great deal of care and guidance offered by pharmacy teams which results in non-supply of products. We hope that this audit will provide greater insight into these situations so we can gain a more complete picture of pharmacy teams’ interactions with patients.

“The audit aims to provide quantified data to identify where cost of products may be a barrier, where the pharmacy team have signposted on to other health services or simply where the pharmacy team, as qualified healthcare professionals, have been able to offer non-product related advice.”

Link:

Pharmacy Voice announcement    

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