(1998; 17 pages)
3. The increasing importance of self-care and self-medication
The role of the pharmacist has been changing over the past two decades. The pharmacist is no longer just a supplier of medicines and a concocter of medicinal products, but also a team member involved in the provision of health care whether in the hospital, the community pharmacy, the laboratory, the industry or in academic institutions.
Pharmaceutical care is growing in importance with the challenges of self-care. For pharmacists, their greater involvement in self-care means greater responsibility towards their customers and an increased need for accountability.
The increase in self-care is due to a number of factors. These factors include: socioeconomic factors; lifestyle; ready access to drugs; the increased potential to manage certain illnesses through self-care; public health and environmental factors; greater availability of medicinal products; and demographic and epidemiological factors.