Pharmacist helping

The Role of the Pharmacist for Helping Patients Who Self-prescribe

The rampant irrational self-prescription is causing enormous problems, one of them is antimicrobial resistance. This is the leading challenge in regard to self-medication. Although the adversity responsible self-medication can bring potential benefits to both individual level and community level.

Pharmaceutical care is becoming important topic while the self-care culture continues to grow. The modern pharmacist is a team member that plays a great role in public health.

Self-medication and self-care lead to self-prescribing patients. In order that the patient makes an informed decision, we need have in place a  sound pharmacy management. And pharmacist who are willing to accept accountability in achieving responsible self-medication.

Role of the pharmacist in developing responsible self-medication:

The communicator:

  • Start a dialogue with the patient(and if necessary with the patient-physician) to get a detailed understanding of the medication history
  • Ask key question to the patient and pass all needed information that is relevant for him or her(e.g. how to take the medicines while taking in consideration the risk issues)
  • Ensure confidentiality regarding the patient condition
  • Help the patient undertake appropriate and responsible self-medication, if necessary, refer the patient for medical advice

The quality drug supplier:

Ensure that the product that he/she purchases are from reputable sources and of good quality Ensure that the product is properly stored.

The collaborator:

In order to enhance self-medication it is important to share experience and develop a qualitative relationship with:

Health care professionals; National professional association; Patient and the general public;

Pharmaceutical industries; Consultant pharmacist companies;

What if we achieve responsible self-medication? Well, the World Health Organization has stated that responsible self-medication can:

  • Help prevent and treat symptoms and ailments that do not require medical consultation;
  • Reduce the increasing pressure on medical services for the relief of minor ailments,
    especially when financial and human resources are limited;
  • Increase the availability of healthcare to populations living in rural or remote areas where access to medical advice may be difficult; and
  • Enable patients to control their own chronic conditions.


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