A discussion paper on self-care and its implications for pharmacists

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Self-care is what people do to themselves to establish and maintain health, prevent and deal with illness. It includes nutrition, lifestyle, self-medication, hygiene, socio-economic and environmental factors. Self-care has been with us for thousands of years, but today there is an opportunity for pharmacists to assist patients with self-care. Society is better educated than ever before and now has access to accurate, understandable and objective, up-to-date information about drug therapies. Moreover, there is a general trend to take back control from physicians and other care-givers, and for patients to make decisions about their own care. Additional drugs are becoming available OTC and some information may require professional interpretation. On a parallel plane, the pharmacist is being recognized as a trustworthy source of information and advice. When these trends interact, there becomes a golden opportunity for pharmacists to demonstrate their worth to their patients. This report provides the perspectives from numerous sources as to the future role of the pharmacist in self-care.

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