Health information, an area for competition in Swedish pharmacies

  • Elin C. Larsson
  • Nina Viberg
  • Asa Vernby
  • Johanna Nordmark
  • Cecilia Stalsby Lundborg
Keywords: Pharmacies, Community Pharmacy Services, Health Promotion, Sweden

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the views and expectations of a selected group of customers regarding health information in Swedish pharmacies.

Methods: A repeated cross sectional, questionnaire study carried out in 2004 and 2005. Customers buying calcium products answered questions on osteoporosis and general questions on health promotion and information.

Results: Respondents had a positive attitude towards receiving health information from the pharmacies and towards the pharmacies’ future role in health promotion. However, only 30% of the respondents expected to get information on general health issues from the pharmacy. In spite of this, 76% (2004) and 72% (2005) of the respondents believed that the pharmacies could influence people’s willingness to improve their health.

Conclusion: There is a gap between the respondents’ positive attitudes towards the Swedish pharmacies and their low expectations as regards the pharmacies’ ability to provide health information. In the light of the upcoming change to the state monopoly on medicine sales, this gap could be an important area for competition between the actors in the new situation for medicine sales in Sweden.

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Published
2008-06-17
Section
Original Research

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