A new campaign has been launched to persuade British men to visit their local pharmacy.
'Pop Down To Your Local' is being run by Developing Patient Partnerships’, a UK health education charity that brings doctors and patients together. It is based on an opinion poll showing that men rarely use pharmacies. Some 22% admitted that their partner or wife usually went for them. Only 3% had ever asked for health advice and only 2% had ever bought condoms there. (When it comes to health advice, a quarter - 24% - of British men still went to their mothers!)
The campaign is supported by a host of partner organisations including The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, Consumer Health Information Centre, Men’s Health Forum, National Pharmaceutical Association and Blood Pressure Association.
Worryingly, say the DPP, one of the most common reasons (14%) stopping men from asking for advice is a belief that pharmacists aren't fully qualified to deal with their problems. The campaign aims to rectify this.
Dr Ian Banks, President of the European Men’s Health Forum, says, 'The time has come for men to start taking advantage of this excellent source of confidential medical advice available on almost every high street. Pharmacies aren’t just there to sort out hangovers and headaches – although they can certainly help cure those for you! – and are often the most convenient first point of access to the health service.
“As a GP, it’s disappointing that some men still think that pharmacists aren’t suitably qualified to deal with medical complaints – I hope this campaign will make some headway in starting to change this view. A quick trip to your ‘local’ could really save you several days of feeling ill and help you deal with your symptoms quickly and effectively.”
Download survey summary (PDF)
Download full survey data (PDF)
More from DPP.