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Lloyds superintendent urges OTC training review, after Which? report

Lloydspharmacy has called for a review of training on over-the-counter (OTC) advice, after a Which? investigation alleged “poor” practice in a third of pharmacies.

Steve Howard, Lloydspharmacy’s superintendent pharmacist, told C+D on Wednesday (February 21) that the multiple would offer to contribute to a future review of “training and education requirements” for all community pharmacy staff who sell OTC medicines.

His comments come after a Which? investigation last week claimed a third of pharmacies visited by mystery shoppers either failed to offer recommended advice on, or refused to sell, two ibuprofen-containing products.

The consumer charity sent undercover researchers into 36 pharmacies – including six Lloydspharmacy branches – to buy both ibuprofen and Sudafed Sinus Pressure and Pain (phenylephrine/ibuprofen).

It rated two Lloydspharmacies as “poor”, as in both cases “the sales assistant failed to inform researchers that the two medicines should not be taken together”.

Mr Howard, who is also quality and clinical standards director at McKesson UK – which owns Lloydspharmacy – told C+D he “would advocate a review of the training and continuing education requirements for [the] sales of medicines”.

“The original requirements were introduced in the late 1990s, and of course practice has evolved and developed considerably since then, as has the range of medicines available for sale over the counter.”

“We would be happy to contribute to such a review, which should focus on better assuring that customers and patients receive high quality and consistent advice, irrespective of which pharmacy they visit,” he added.

C+D asked Lloydspharmacy, Boots and pharmacy training providers what implications the Which? report could have for the OTC training provided by pharmacies. Read their advice here

Should training for pharmacy counter staff be reviewed in light of the Which? report?

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