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2024 STADA Health Report: Brits show strong trust in pharmacies, call for Pharmacy First expansion


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Many Brits advocate for health-related services like eye and hearing tests to be merged into the services of pharmacies 

People in the UK have a high level of trust in pharmacies and many are keen on seeing the Pharmacy First initiative expanded, according to the 2024 STADA Health Report published today (24 June).

The 10th annual health report by global healthcare leader STADA Arzneimittel AG, the parent company of Thornton & Ross, involved a survey of over 46,000 respondents across 23 countries, including 2,000 participants from the UK.

The UK data showed an overwhelming trust in UK pharmacies, with 94 per cent of those surveyed (more than nine out of 10 Brits) saying they have only ever had good advice from a pharmacist.

The report also indicated a strong desire for the Pharmacy First scheme to be expanded, with 44 per cent of respondents advocating for an increase in pharmacists’ scope of responsibilities to support doctors.

In addition to greater availability of existing services, respondents demanded the introduction of new offerings. For example, 40 percent of Brits would like their pharmacist to offer the option to book personal consultations online, while 33 percent want the ability to have their prescriptions delivered to their homes.

Furthermore, 32 per cent of respondents expressed a desire to see the integration of additional health-related services, such as eye and hearing tests, into pharmacy services; 23 per cent demanded patient education on specific disease topics; and 21 per cent sought investment in technology to enhance customers’ understanding of their medications.

Meanwhile, Brits are also turning to AI and influencers as they look for quicker and easier ways to access a wider range of healthcare services and advice.

According to the 2024 STADA Health Report, 56 per cent of individuals in the UK are googling their symptoms, 23 per cent are seeking health advice from social media and influencers, and 10 per cent are relying on AI chatbots for self-diagnosis.

However, data showed that there is still an element of mistrust in the technology, with 40 per cent of respondents confessing they’re not convinced that AI is a good thing.

Nigel Stephenson, general manager at STADA, Thornton & Ross, said: “It is reassuring to see that Brits are open to involving more technology into their healthcare, however, this should not be at the expense of our National Health Service.”

“Pharmacies are such a vital resource that can support the wider health economy in the UK to improve satisfaction, preserve the NHS GP resource, and ensure that as a nation we can sufficiently care for people’s health as trusted partners.

“Pharmacies are often at the heart of our communities and have the skills and resource to support the NHS in a much bigger way, which we are seeing thanks to the rollout of Pharmacy First.”

Interestingly, trust in conventional medicine among Brits remains extremely high at 92 percent, compared to the average of 89 per cent among their European counterparts.

At the same time, doctors continue to have a huge impact as the STADA research showed that significantly more Brits find their doctors informative compared to Europeans (50 per cent versus 35 per cent).

Additionally, doctors continue to play a crucial role in recommending over-the-counter (OTC) purchases to their patients, with 68 percent of Brits relying on their advice for such decisions.




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