NAB Pharmacy Survey 2021

Date: 8 September 2021

The latest NAB Pharmacy Survey has reinforced that pharmacists are considered very trustworthy, after being ranked in the top three most-trusted professions in Australia.

The survey found almost four in 10 surveyed Australians said pharmacists were the most trustworthy profession, behind only doctors and nurses.

“Pharmacists also ranked highly for trust in all States and by gender and age,” the survey found.

When asked how important pharmacists were from a health perspective, some one in three Australians considered them to be the most important, behind GPs, dentists and specialist doctors.

On average, consumers visited their pharmacy about 18 times over the past year, though this ranged from over 20 times in Queensland to 16 times in WA and Victoria, and from 19 times in capital cities to just 11 times in rural areas.

“By age, Australians over 65 visited most often (21 times) and those in the 18-24 group least often (11 times).”

The survey also asked how and why people visited a pharmacy, and how did the experience rate.

The main reasons people visited a pharmacy in the past 12 months were to have a prescription filled (7 in 10 of all Australians).

“The next most common reasons were to buy vitamins or supplements (30 per cent), over the counter (OTC) medications for pain relief (24 per cent), cosmetics, toiletries, sunscreen etc (17 per cent), OTC medications for colds or flu relief (17 per cent) and for allergies (15 per cent),” the survey found.

“Almost one in 10 used their pharmacy to receive a vaccination.

“By region significantly more people in rural areas or its surrounds (eight in 10) did so to have a prescription filled, while people in capital cities were twice as likely to have done so to buy cosmetics, toiletries, sunscreen etc (20 per cent).

“By age, over nine in 10 people over 65 went to have a prescription filled, but noticeably more in the 35-44 and 25-34 age groups (four in 10) to buy vitamins and supplements and under 35 to buy cosmetics, toiletries, sunscreen etc (around three in 10).”

When asked what motivated people to use pharmacies to help manage their health, respondents were asked to the rate their agreement with three statements.

“It was highest for the statement: ‘Pharmacists are the most accessible health professionals in the community’, with Australians on average rating their agreement 7.0 points out of 10. Australians were only in ‘moderate’ agreement with the statement ‘I often use a pharmacy because it can be difficult to access timely treatment or advice from other health professionals’ (4.5 points) and ‘I often use a pharmacy because it can be difficult to access affordable treatment or advice’ (4.3 points).’

The survey can be viewed in full here.

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Page last updated on: 07 September 2021