Does evidence drive pharmacist over-the-counter product recommendations? Use of OTC evidence by pharmacists

Paul Rutter, Edna Wadesango

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Abstract

Rationale, aims and objectives - To explore how community pharmacists use evidence to inform their practice when recommending or selling over‐the‐counter medicines.

Methods - Semi‐structured face‐to‐face interviews were conducted during February 2013 and analysed using the principles of content analysis.

Results - Sixteen pharmacists were interviewed. Pharmacists were aware of evidence‐based medicine and practice but relied on personal judgement augmented with patient feedback to make product recommendations. This was primarily due to the acknowledgement that many non‐prescription medicines either had no or little evidence of efficacy. Pharmacists did and would use evidence to inform product selection if available, but acknowledged that ineffective products were sold, especially when consumers asked for a named product. This was tempered by their attempts to inform the consumer of the products' effectiveness, or lack of, or in the knowledge that it would cause them no harm.

Conclusions - Pharmacists took a pragmatic approach to product recommendation in light of the lack of clinical evidence to support their efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-428
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

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