This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

Our role is evolving to be providers and educators


Our role is evolving to be providers and educators

In the Edelman survey 79 per cent of respondents across the world said they trusted pharmacies, writes NPA board member, Sukhi Basra.

This was higher than hospitals (77 per cent), private/government health insurance (67 per cent) and pharmaceuticals, with 62 per cent.

Pharmacists also scored highly (76 per cent) among the healthcare professionals people most trusted to tell the truth about health issues and protecting the health of the public. Only doctors on 80 per cent and nurses with 79 per cent scored higher. 

When Covid hit, the only healthcare professional readily available for patients was their community pharmacist. I think people have recognised and internalised that.

Reliable information

Other notable findings in the study included plummeting trust in the media’s healthcare reporting since 2019 and the growing reliance on friends and family members as a source of perceived reliable healthcare information. 

Community pharmacists are very important in educating those families. As a pharmacist, you don’t necessarily have the patient coming in for medication. We will have the parent, the carer, the friend who comes in – and they will have multiple questions. That advice gets spread around. 

Community pharmacists are an amazing source of abundant information available on tap, whenever and wherever it is needed. We also provide context for patients, to empower them to decide what treatment best suits their needs.  

The Edelman report highlighted the growing trend – particularly among younger patients – to rely on ‘unofficial’ sources such as the internet, social media, friends and family for health advice. To an extent this is a concerning development, especially as inaccurate healthcare information is seemingly – and in some cases dangerously – easy to find these days.  

Cement our role

This actually presents an opportunity for community pharmacists to cement their role as healthcare educators. 

I know a significant chunk of my customer cohort are people collecting medication for the patient – a carer, a family member or a friend. By treating every single person who comes through our doors as the direct consumer, we can ensure every patient will receive the right advice.  

As community pharmacists we can take both heart and reassurance from this study. It confirms how we are continuing to build a strong relationship with the public and how highly they value us. 

I think we can also see, however, further evidence of the evolution of our roles. We are not only healthcare providers – we are also educators.

Copy Link copy link button


Hear the opinions and comment from some of the top names in pharmacy. Make sure you get in touch and share your opinions with us too.