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Men & Pharmacy

Latest News

July 2008: Focus Group summaries published - attached below


Apr 2008: Pilot phase begins


Dec 2007: Scoping Study Updated


Oct 2007: Scoping Paper Published


May 2007: project launches



The Men's Health Forum has argued for some time that pharmacy services have a potentially significant role to play in improving the still unnecessarily and unacceptably poor state of men's health. Men's use of pharmacy services is currently very limited but, following the publication of Choosing health through pharmacy in April 2005, in which the Forum's suggested policy developments were quoted, there now exists an opportunity to develop services that will begin to make a difference.

 In our submission to the Department of Health's (DH) consultation document, A Vision for Pharmacy, we argued that pharmacy services could provide:

  • A source of health information for men, through one-to-one discussions, making leaflets available, providing a point of access to web-based services, etc.
  • A source of health advice for men in relation to prescription and over-the-counter medicines and lifestyle issues such as smoking, alcohol use, weight management, physical activity, etc. Pharmacy services could also provide ongoing support for men attempting lifestyle changes.
  • A triage service, directing men to the best available source of help. There is evidence that men are more likely to access GP services if they have been advised to do so by another health professional.
  • A means of accessing simple diagnostic tests for use at home. Pharmacy services could provide either free of charge or by sale a range of diagnostic tests, e.g. for chlamydia, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. It is likely that many men are more likely to use such tests when they are easily available rather than when they are accessible though an appointment at a GP surgery.
  • 'MOT' checks for men. As well as providing diagnostic tests for men to use at home, pharmacies could offer on-site check-ups. These sorts of check-ups are popular with many men and tend to detect a significant number of cases of hypertension, diabetes, weight problems, etc.  They also offer an opportunity for general lifestyle advice and enable men to raise other health concerns they might have. Pharmacists could also offer such check-ups to men off-site at community venues used by men (e.g. working men's clubs, sports clubs, even pubs and barbers' shops).

The Forum is now developing a project in partnership with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and the Department of Health to pilot the development of the information, resources and support pharmacies will need to work with men effectively.

Specifically, the project would:

  • Work with a number of PCTs to develop model pharmacy and public health policies and programmes that include men's health.
  • Develop the evidence and research base.
  • Work with pharmacy education and training providers on the development of curricula that include gender and men's health issues.
  • Develop and pilot new resources for pharmacy on men's health.

This will be a 2-3 year project, which will get underway in the Autumn 2006.  It forms part of a larger piece of work MHF is looking to develop on men's use of primary care services.  

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Page created on February 12th, 2004

Page updated on January 14th, 2010