The role of pharmacists in patients' education on medication

Public Health. 1992 May;106(3):231-7. doi: 10.1016/s0033-3506(05)80541-4.


The pharmacist, as the last health professional to come into contact with the patient, plays a vital role in patient education on drug use. The objective of this study was to assess the extent of pharmacists' involvement in the education of patients on drug use. Five hundred patients were interviewed. The findings indicated that both physicians and pharmacists explained the use of medication; however, pharmacists (20%) were much clearer in their instructions than physicians (11%). Ninety percent of patients who needed more information on their medicines, besides its frequency of use, did not receive it. Patients were not told about drug adverse reactions (100%), storage conditions (93%), important precautions (91%), drug-food interaction (90%) and preparation of suspensions (64%). Fifty-one respondents had in the past made mistakes in the use of their medications, and in 16% this resulted in serious consequences. Ninety-three prescriptions contained drug-drug interactions, and 97% of these were dispensed unnoticed. Of the patients interviewed, 72% were satisfied with the role of pharmacists in disseminating drug information, 67% would get a refill from them without going to their physicians, and 52% had consulted them for OTC medications. It is concluded that, although there are some deficiencies, pharmacists are providing information on drug usage and patients have confidence in them. They should, therefore, acquire the proper training and communication skills to enable them to provide this service more effectively.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Communication
  • Drug Therapy / standards*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pharmacists / standards*
  • Role*
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Surveys and Questionnaires