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Strengthening pharmacists' essential roles in supporting the appropriate management of common upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) is the aim of latest resource published today by FIP in collaboration with The Clean Breathing Institute.
These roles are varied and have been defined in the handbook as: supporting self-care (e.g., advice on the use of non-prescription medicines); preventing infection and supporting respiratory well-being (e.g., through use of facemasks, nasal hygiene and good ventilation of indoor spaces); assessing symptoms; referring patients when needed; patient education and counselling (e.g., on antimicrobial resistance and how to administer nasal formulations); providing care via minor ailment schemes; and giving evidence-based advice on complementary medicines.
This new handbook contains guidance on managing the common cold, influenza and sinusitis. It also highlights evidence that exposure to air pollutants interferes with processes essential to the immune response, increasing susceptibility to developing respiratory infections.
URTIs are frequent reasons for which patients seek healthcare advice, with an estimated 17.2 billion cases in 2019. As demands for health care increase, we need a new approach that empowers people to manage their own health and well-being, helping to relieve pressure on overburdened healthcare systems. This new resource from FIP supports pharmacists in providing primary health care for URTIs, and in their responsibility to support informed self-care, said Paul Sinclair, chair, FIP Board of Pharmaceutical Practice.
Community pharmacists have always been at the heart of self-care, and they will continue to play a vital role in the future of healthcare systems worldwide. This is why we have made a long-term commitment to support pharmacy teams with valuable content that can help them in their daily practice, like this timely and informative handbook, said Tess Player, global head of expert and influence marketing at GSK Consumer Healthcare.
More information here.