'They Often Felt Unheard, Not Believed and Stigmatised When Visiting Their Pharmacist'

People with chronic pain have reported a significant worsening in their relationship with their pharmacist, according to the results of the National Pain Survey 2020

The results of the annual survey conducted by Chronic Pain Australia, which had more than 1200 participants from across the country, have been released to mark National Pain Week (27 July–2 August).

When asked to rate how people felt their pharmacist was managing their pain, the average score was 4/10.

When this same question was asked last year, the average score for pharmacists was 8/10, highlighting a significant 50% decrease in 2020.

The relationship between people living with chronic pain and their GP also declined from 8/10 in 2019 to 5/10 in 2020.

“What we are seeing in this year’s National Pain Survey regarding the relationship deterioration between people living with chronic pain and their GP and pharmacist is very concerning,” said President of Chronic Pain Australia Jarrod McMaugh, who is also a pharmacist.

“It easily demonstrates that healthcare professionals need to improve their approach towards how pain is managed in Australia and importantly, how people in pain are treated.”

People in pain reported in the survey that they often felt unheard, not believed and generally stigmatised when they visited their pharmacist.

Being suspected of being a drug seeker was very commonly reported and may have contributed to the poorer relationships between people in pain and pharmacists, said Chronic Pain Australia.

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Source: , viewed 30 July 2020.