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Lloyds superintendent urges OTC training review, after Which? report

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Steve Howard: All Lloydspharmacy staff involved in counter sales receive bespoke training
Steve Howard: All Lloydspharmacy staff involved in counter sales receive bespoke training

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

4 Comments
Question: 
Should training for pharmacy counter staff be reviewed in light of the Which? report?

Amal England, Public Relations

Lloyd's SI urges training review..... Well done clever boy! Will that include having a trained person working with a pharmacy newbie other than on their first day?
Why isn't anyone (Lloyd's, boots, Well, GPhC, PSNC, NPA) pounding into Poundland?

R M, Student

I am so glad I stopped doing pharmacy course in my first year. It’s a mess and my gut was right in telling me to leave.

Mohammed Patel, Community pharmacist

Maybe if certain big pharmacy chains in the UK actually offered some kind of training for their staff, then this would never have happened!

But, hang on a minute, that costs money so they WILL NEVER DO IT! Blame the responsible pharmacist who is already considering jumping off the suspension bridge tonight.

Staff are treated like a dog turd that you have stepped in.

Dave Downham, Manager

I wonder if Lloyds will be contributing to the training and education requirments of Poundland, Londis or the local BP* garage?

*Other purveyors of motor fuel and OTC medication are available.

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