My role


Mum's the Word in new pharmacy campaign

men and pharmacy postersDeveloping Patient Partnerships' new campaign Pop Down Your Local focuses on an ICM survey showing that when it comes to dealing with health worries, a quarter (24%) of British men still go to their mum. The figure was even higher among younger men.

The campaign, which is supported by supported by a host of partner organisations including The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, Consumer Health Information Centre, Men's Health Forum, National Pharmaceutical Association and Blood Pressure Association, encourages men to make greater use of pharmacies.

Men are not great users of pharmacies at all. Most of them probably call them chemists! Some 22% admitted that their other half usually went for them. Only 3% had ever asked for health advice. Only 2% had ever bought condoms there.

Over half (55%) of 18-24 year old men, 44% of 35-44 year old men and nearly a third (30%) of men between 35-44 years still go to their mum with health worries. Poll findings show that almost half (48%) of the men questioned said they'd turn to their wife or partner for health advice.

One in ten men (10%) say that a lack of confidentiality stops them from seeking advice from their pharmacist and over a third (39%) say that a private consulting area would encourage them to use pharmacies more often.

Worryingly, say the DPP, one of the most common reasons (14%) stopping men from asking for advice is a belief that pharmacists aren't fully qualified to deal with their problems. The campaign aims to rectify this.

The 'Pop Down your Local' campaign is designed to encourage men to use pharmacies as part of the management of their general health and minor ailments as well as a source of treatment and advice.  The initiative also aims to increase the uptake of 'MOT' services such as cholesterol and blood pressure testing which are available in many pharmacies across the UK.  Interestingly, the survey revealed that men are as likely to have their blood pressure and cholesterol checked out annually (52%) as they are their cars (58%)!

Dr Ian Banks, DPP Trustee and President of the Men's Health Forum, says, "The time has come for men to start taking advantage of this excellent source of confidential medical advice available on almost every high street. Pharmacies aren't just there to sort out hangovers and headaches — although they can certainly help cure those for you! — and are often the most convenient first point of access to the health service.

"As a GP, it's disappointing that some men still think that pharmacists aren't suitably qualified to deal with medical complaints — I hope this campaign will make some headway in starting to change this view.  A quick trip to your 'local' could really save you several days of feeling ill and help you deal with your symptoms quickly and effectively.”

Dr Gill Hawksworth, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, said: "Through this campaign we are encouraging men to take greater control of their own healthcare. No appointment is needed to visit a pharmacy where expert advice and support is always available."

Mike Owen, Communications Director for the Consumer Health Information Centre added: "Most men need to take more interest in their own health.  They can't just leave health matters to their partner or mother!  They need to realise that they can access medication themselves easily for many common ailments and seek supportive advice and guidance from their local pharmacy. Men do not have to rely on a visit to their GP to get treatment.  This campaign is going to play a valuable role in helping to make more men aware of this.   "

John D'Arcy, Chief Executive of The National Pharmaceutical Association, commented: "This important new awareness campaign highlights the core messages of the NPA's long-running 'Ask Your Pharmacist' advertising message.  We hope that it will encourage men of all ages to make the most of their local pharmacist's expertise, and the wide range of pharmacy services which can help them stay fit and healthy."

Many pharmacies across England, Scotland and Wales will be receiving campaign materials which include a poster and leaflet highlighting pharmacy services (pictured). The materials will also be available through DPP member Primary Care Organisations and GP surgeries.

For extra supplies of campaign materials pharmacists can call the NPA press office on 01727 858687 ext 3311 (NPA members only) or call CHIC on 020 7761 1803 (detailing how many leaflets you require).  The leaflet will also be available to download from

Page created on May 5th, 2004

Page updated on December 1st, 2009