Ask Your Pharmacist Week gets underway

02 Nov 2018

Thousands of pharmacies are displaying Let's Talk Medicines Safety posters for Ask Your Pharmacist Week, which kicks off on Monday. They are also distributing leaflets encouraging patients to have full and frank conversations about safe and effective medicines use.

The initiative is part of the National Pharmacy Association’s response to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ambitious challenge of reducing medicines related harm by 50% globally. The WHO has identified that effective communication between patients and health care professionals is an essential element of medicines safety.

NPA Head of Communications, Stephen Fishwick, said:

“As usual, Ask your Pharmacist Week is an opportunity for pharmacies to promote awareness of the services they offer and to highlight the expert advice available in pharmacies. This year’s campaign has a particular focus on improving safe medicines use by encouraging dialogue and empowering patients.”

Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said:

“Having a good understanding of how their medicines work helps patients take an active role in their own care.  Patients should give full and clear information to their pharmacist and be supported to demand full and clear advice in return.  We encourage pharmacists to get involved in Ask Your Pharmacist week and to continue a healthy dialogue with patients all year round.”

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Co-op, which is taking part in the week’s activities, said:

“It’s important that patients feel able to ask pharmacists anything at all about their medicines, health and wellbeing. In particular we want to promote joint decision-making – with patients and carers playing a more active role in their medication management and comfortable to raise any concerns they may have. As well as the main aim of the campaign – improving safe medicines use amongst our patients – there are other benefits from taking part. One of the outcomes we hope to see by taking part in Ask Your Pharmacist Week is an increased number of patients making good use of MURs and NMS in our pharmacies.”

Campaign materials, including digital assets, can now be downloaded from On social media, the hashtags #talkmeds and #askyourpharmacist will be in use throughout the week.