Objective The aim was to investigate and compare counselling on prescription medicine provided by Australian community pharmacists based on pharmacist and consumer self-reports, and to explore consumers' interest in receiving prescription medicine information. Methods Mail and face-to-face surveys containing comparable questions for both study groups. The setting was Sydney metropolitan community pharmacies, Australia (22 pharmacists and 157 consumers). Key findings No statistically significant differences were found between pharmacists and consumers in reporting provision of verbal information for new (Z = -0.57, P = 0.57) and repeat prescriptions (Z = -1.71, P = 0.09). However, there were statistically significant differences between the two cohorts in reporting dissemination of written information (Z = -2.6, P = 0.009 and Z = -2.68, P = 0.007 for new and repeat prescriptions, respectively). Both groups reported that the most common type of verbal information provided by pharmacists was in relation to medicine administration rather than safety aspects of medicines. Approximately 59% of consumers expressed an interest in receiving counselling for new prescriptions only. Conclusions Pharmacists regularly provided verbal counselling on new prescription medicines, but infrequently provided written medicine information or any type of information for regular medicines. Lack of consumers' interest in receiving prescription medicine information may have contributed to the low counselling rates. Thus, there is a need to develop strategies to improve pharmacist counselling practice and to enhance consumer involvement in the counselling process.
- prescription medicines