Over 90% of patients with lung disease say community pharmacy services are essential, survey finds

A Taskforce for Lung Health survey found that 95% of people living with lung disease in England who use community pharmacies saw pharmacy services as valuable, essential or something they “couldn’t live without”.

The task force, a coalition of organizations including the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), Asthma UK and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, interviewed 2,100 people with lung disease over a one-month period in August 2020. The majority of respondents suffered from COPD (47%), asthma (46%) and bronchiectasis (24%).

Of the respondents, 75% said they value community pharmacy services because they are close to home. Not needing to make an appointment is appreciated by 48% of respondents, as are convenient opening hours, cited by 39%.

The results also showed that just under a quarter (23%) of patients were unaware of or did not have access to all the services their pharmacy could offer them. Almost half (48%) of those surveyed did not use an inhalation technique service, with a quarter of them saying they were not aware of these services.

In a statement released on May 1, 2021, the task force said the NHS could do more to help pharmacies support people living with lung disease. He called for community pharmacies “to be increasingly recognized as a vital resource and for pharmacies to be integrated into the way care is provided in the NHS”.

Anna Murphy, consultant respiratory pharmacist at Leicester University Hospitals NHS Trust, who represents RPS on the working group, said community pharmacies provide a range of clinical services that integrate pharmacists into the patient journey and the rest of the world. NHS.

“Community pharmacists have an important role in preventing lung disease by promoting a healthy lifestyle and giving advice on how to quit smoking, as well as having a regular opportunity to help people get the best results from their medications; for example, the inhaler technique, ”she said.

“It is reassuring that this survey found that people with lung disease find community pharmacy useful, but increased awareness is needed to further promote the services that community pharmacies can provide. “

Alison Cook, chair of the task force, said “investing in the services offered by community pharmacies would better meet the needs of people with lung disease and reduce the pressures the NHS faces during the pandemic and beyond. of the “.

READ MORE: Community pharmacy ‘huge opportunity’ to detect early lung disease


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