Published on July 27 2017 – Current-day community pharmacies often present themselves as ‘community healthcare centres’. Communication thereby stresses that pharmacies are more than medication dispensaries alone, and offer multiple health and clinical services, such as illness prevention information, supervision of people with chronic diseases, and in many countries also diagnosis and vaccinations. Meanwhile, community pharmacies also promote a range of commercial services, among which weight loss creams, shower stools, mosquito nets and make-up products.This article presents the results of a content analysis of community pharmacy websites in four Western countries (the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia), with an emphasis on the combination of clinical and commercial services on the websites.
The international top five services mentioned on the community pharmacy websites were cosmetic products, medication refill request options, over-the-counter medicine, complementary & alternative medicine, and home medical aids respectively. Combinations of clinical and commercial services were found on almost three quarters of the pharmacy websites on average. Because people are often hardly able to distinguish between clinical and commercial services, this may lead to an increased interest in commercial services that may be unnecessary or inappropriate to patients’ health.
Read more? Zwier, S. (2017). ‘Click for closer care’: A content analysis of community pharmacy websites in four countries. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(6), e205. doi: 10.2196/jmir.6899
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