Behaviour & Attitudes National Survey Findings

  • Survey: 86% of public say pharmacists provide good value for money
  • 96% support pharmacists being allowed to prescribe medicines for minor ailments

6 May 2017: The healthcare services provided by community pharmacists are regarded as “very accessible” by 93% of people; represent “good value for money” in the opinion of 86% and pharmacists are regarded as “easy to talk to about healthcare problems or issues” by 78% of the public.

These findings come from a representative nationwide survey of 1,014 adults conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes, Ireland’s leading independent market research agency, from 13 March to 5 April this year. The survey, which was launched at the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) National Pharmacy Conference today (Saturday 6 May), was undertaken on behalf of the IPU and continues an annual series of the survey since 2006.

The accessibility of pharmacists also scores very highly with the general public, with 90% saying they are “available at a time that suits me” (GPs get a score of 42% on this question).

The research data also reflects very high levels of public trust in the professional advice available from their local pharmacist: 98% of those surveyed said they “trust the advice and patient care” they receive from the pharmacist, and 96% say they “value the professional advice” they receive.

There is also very strong support for expanding the role of the pharmacist as a healthcare provider, in line with the policy of the IPU; 96% said they “would be in favour of the pharmacist being able to prescribe some medicines for minor ailments”, while 93% said they would like to see the pharmacy “offering services such as blood pressure or cholesterol testing at the pharmacy for a reasonable cost” and 83% of respondents also score pharmacists very highly for being “capable of managing day-to-day healthcare issues I may have”.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (62%) said they “sometimes rely on a pharmacist’s advice rather than visiting the GP”, while 60% are “more likely to talk to a pharmacist first before visiting a GP”.