Pharmacist patient counselling is one of the key roles of the community pharmacist. It is a one-to-one interaction where the pharmacist provides medication information and advice to the patient or their representative. The aim is to improve quality use of medicine through greater awareness of a range of factors including side effects, correct use, adherence, storage and lifestyle factors. This example of excellent pharmacy patient counselling shows a Master of Pharmacy student in a simulated counselling session. The student provides information to a patient on adherence and correct technique for asthma medication. Practice-based feedback is given by leading community pharmacist John Bell, and theoretical feedback is given by pharmacy practice academic Dr Victoria Garcia-Cardenas. This type of simulation is integrated throughout the UTS Master of Pharmacy course.
Community pharmacists are the health professionals most accessible to the public. They supply medicines in accordance with a prescription or, when legally permitted, sell them without a prescription. In addition to ensuring an accurate supply of appropriate products, their professional activities also cover counselling of patients at the time of dispensing of prescription and non-prescription drugs, drug information to health professionals, patients and the general public, and participation in health-promotion programmes. They maintain links with other health professionals in primary health care.