Pharmacy support staff need ongoing training if goals are to be realised

Margaret Watson, Alison Blenkinsopp

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past 20 years scores of prescription only medicines (POMs) have been reclassified to pharmacy only (P) status, and from P to general sale list (GSL) status. The greater availability of non-prescription medicines (NPMs) means that the public is better able to self-care and that community pharmacy staff have more medicines to recommend. POM-to-P switches are set to continue with drugs such as proton pump inhibitors and lipid lowering agents as possible candidates.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is one of many advocates for increasing self-care and recently issued a briefing paper on the treatment of minor ailments, providing further support and encouragement for the supply of NPMs from community pharmacies. The briefing paper also covered a significant development — the establishment and increasing spread of NHS minor ailment schemes in community pharmacy. These changes raise questions about the respective roles of pharmacists and medicines counter assistants in relation to NPMs. Society policy has supported delegation of much of this work from pharmacists to assistants. In this article we ask whether this policy needs to be revisited and updated with an eye to the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-738
Number of pages1
JournalPharmaceutical Journal
Issue number7277
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2003


  • support staff
  • patient care
  • training
  • nonprescription drugs

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