Pharmacists key to driving successful self care strategy

  • Pharmacists and pharmaceutical industry partner in major Self Care awareness campaign: ‘Be Well this Winter – Think Pharmacy’, to promote a focused approach to better patient outcomes
  • 92% of people like to be involved in decisions about their own health and medication
  • Promoting increased levels of self care in Ireland would contribute to a far more efficient system of healthcare

16 October 2018: The role of community pharmacists is pivotal to the successful development of self care and its more widespread adoption, according to the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) and the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), who have today (Tuesday 16 October) launched a new self care awareness campaign, entitled ‘Be Well this Winter – Think Pharmacy’.

The campaign will be rolled out through the extensive deployment of social media, as well as a series of posters to be displayed nationwide in retail pharmacies.

This campaign builds on the previously highly successful IPU/IPHA joint initiative launched earlier this year, ‘Self Care: taking charge of your health’, which placed a major emphasis on the role of the pharmacist as a key component in helping people to manage their own health.

Self care is a healthcare philosophy which emphasises the role of ordinary people in taking ownership of their health and wellbeing and includes taking actions to prevent and decrease the likelihood of disease and to restore health after illness or injury. It is the first step and first choice for Irish people who are taking an increasingly active role in their healthcare and looking to improve their health and wellbeing.

Research from Behaviour & Attitudes1 confirms that there is a clear desire from the majority of people (92%) to be involved in decisions about their own health and medication, with 80% expressing their view that they see their pharmacist as a key partner in maintaining their health.

Daragh Connolly, President of the Irish Pharmacy Union, said, “Promoting increased levels of self care in Ireland would lead to a far more efficient and effective system of healthcare. Embracing a philosophy of self care can lead to real, measurable savings in healthcare expenses and better outcomes for patients and pharmacists can play a critical role in this area.  Allowing pharmacists to work to their full scope will help to deliver better patient outcomes, by utilising our accessibility and professional capabilities to benefit patients, in partnership with our healthcare colleagues and the pharmaceutical industry.”

Dave Barrett, Chairman of the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association, said, “As well as the obvious benefits for individuals in taking a greater role in maintaining healthy lives, adoption of self care principles could also help the State manage the financial challenges of an ageing population and strained healthcare budgets. As people take care of their own health and self-treatable conditions, more healthcare resources can be used for patients with severe and chronic diseases. Our industry is committed to working with healthcare professionals, especially pharmacists who are often the first port of call for health information and advice, to support consumers to identify the most appropriate channel within the healthcare system.”


Editor’s Note:

1Self Care – taking charge of your health can be downloaded from www.ipu.ie and www.ipha.ie.

The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) and the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) have for some years been working together and with other stakeholders to encourage the adoption of self care. Earlier this year they made a number of recommendations in their report, Self Care – taking charge of your health1, on how the role of community pharmacists is pivotal to the successful development of self care. Among the main recommendations were:

  1. Expand the role of the pharmacist including the free treatment of common illnesses to medical card patients through the establishment of a pharmacy-based Minor Ailment Scheme.
  2. The range of medicines made available to patients should be expanded through switching.
  3. The concept of self care should be actively promoted among healthcare professionals.
  4. Patients should have access to good-quality, trustworthy information so that they can seek care at the appropriate level and, thus, enhance their independence within the healthcare system.
  5. Patients should know that self care means access to high-quality, safe and effective products.

For further information contact:

Jim Curran, Director of Communications & Strategy, IPU, on 01 493 6401/086 264 0469

Philip Hannon, Communications & Public Affairs Manager, IPHA, on 01 663 0933/087 287 0891