They are responsible for dispensing medicines, instructing patients on their proper use, clarifying with GPs and other prescribers that dosages are correct, and checking that new treatments are compatible with other medicines the patient may be taking. Community pharmacists also sell over-the-counter medical products and instruct patients on the use of medicines and medical appliances. Some provide a minor ailments service which supports self care through improved access to advice and a range of medicines used to treat common conditions without the need for a GP consultation. Some pharmacists will also offer specialist health checks, such as blood pressure monitoring and diabetes screening, run stop smoking clinics and weight reduction programmes.
The BSO Information Unit produce a range of statistics for each of the Family Practitioner Services.
The BSO Information Unit presents information on community pharmacy in Northern Ireland including detail on practitioners, premises and prescribing.
Prescription cost analysis
Prescription cost analysis (PCA) provides details of the number of items and the ingredient cost before discount of all prescriptions dispensed in the community in Northern Ireland. The drugs dispensed are listed by British national formulary (BNF) therapeutic class. Each UK country produces the prescription cost analysis (PCA).