In the UK, government policy toward self-care now supports the management of some long-term conditions. In 2004, simvastatin was switched to P access for people who have a moderate risk of coronary heart disease. This deregulation met with opposition from pharmacists due to concern over patient management and the increased workload burden envisaged around training and record keeping. In 2010, tamsulosin was reclassified for the treatment of urinary symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH); the first medicine since simvastatin to be marketed for a non self-limiting condition. This study aimed to explore community pharmacist’s early experiences with the supply of non-prescription tamsulosin.
To determine community pharmacists’ views toward the recent deregulation of tamsulosin.
Self-completed postal survey.
A response rate of 36% was achieved (n=108/301). Pharmacists found company and professional body training materials met their needs and provided sufficient support to enable them to sell tamsulosin. Protocols for sale were followed by the majority of respondents (81%) and nobody delegated the selling of tamsulosin to non-pharmacist staff. Pharmacist recommendations were low, although specific patient requests were higher, and 70% of all patient requests were referred on to the doctor. For those patients started on tamsulosin only a small minority returned to the pharmacy at the 14-day check-up.
Pharmacists felt prepared to sell tamsulosin although the majority of consumer requests were inappropriate and triggered referral.
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