To achieve maximum therapeutic benefit from their prescribed medicines and appliances it is important that patients understand how to use the product. Since the pharmacist is normally the last health care professional whom patients see before therapy begins, he or she plays a key role in helping patients to understand their therapy. The counselling and advice given by the community pharmacist should complement and reinforce information provided by other members of the health care team and present the patient with a further opportunity to ask questions.
These guidelines have been the subject of consultation within pharmaceutical, medical and nursing professions in Scotland and have been welcomed by all three professions. They have also been successfully field tested within community pharmacy practice. The final document reflects comments arising from the consultation exercise and the field testing.
The guidelines are intended to assist pharmacists in their practice. I am grateful to those who have contributed to their production and commend the guidelines to you.
Chief Pharmaceutical Officer