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Addressing the Polypharmacy Challenge in Older People

The Polypharmacy Challenge Blog

Boots: Pharmacists under pressure?

One of our research participants alerted us to this investigative news documentary recently screened on BBC One as part of its ‘real-life stories and investigations’ TV programme, Inside Out. This programme was timely for us as we’re currently undertaking fieldwork in pharmacies.

The documentary focuses on three tragic cases where patients died after being given medicines prescribed for another patient. It then set out to make a link between dispensing errors and staff shortages. There was a particular focus on Boots’ unwillingness to disclose information about the model it uses to calculate appropriate staffing levels – this being identified as a ‘trade secret’ and summoning up a sense of suspicion.

​Polypharmacy perspectives: the challenge for pharmacy

Nina Barnett, in the last of our perspectives series, sets out how pharmacists need to use their communication skills to enter into dialogue with patients if we are to address the polypharmacy challenge.

The pharmacy profession has entered a new arena: a renewed focus on talking to people about their medicines. However, there is fundamental shift in these conversations: Pharmacists are moving from asking ‘What do I, as a pharmacist, need to tell you, my patient?’ to ‘What do you need to know about your medicines?’ and ‘What do I need to know about you?’ In other words, we are putting the patient's wants and needs before discussing what the pharmacist thinks the patient needs to know.


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