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Pharmacists ‘most accessible health professionals’

23rd April 2008

Pharmacists have a unique position in the community and are the most accessible healthcare professionals available, a pharmacy owner has commented.

Zafar Khan, the owner of Britain’s only 24-hour pharmacy, made his comments to the Guardian newspaper, stating that pharmacies are no longer simply shops for “pushing pills”.

In fact, professional pharmacists undergo five years of training and are ideally placed to take some pressure off doctors, he continued.

“We are the most accessible healthcare professionals and – while doctors only get to see patients when they’re unwell – pharmacists’ great asset is that we can see them when they’re walking and well,” he told the newspaper.

Recently, Paul Bennett, chairman of the English Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, highlighted that many English pharmacies are already relieving NHS pressure.

He explained that a number are treating long-term conditions such as asthma and supplying smoking cessation services.

Furthermore, Mr Bennett continued, research shows that almost all of the population can reach a pharmacy within 20 minutes.

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