The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) has carried out a study in which it has verified that, in Spain, there is still a 12 percent of pharmacies that dispenses antibiotics without prescription. Another worrying fact that emerges from the study is that in most cases (83%) the pharmacist did not check whether the person demanding the antibiotics was allergic to any of the components of the drug.
In a study conducted nine years ago the situation was even worse, since then more than half of the pharmacies visited (55%) sold certain medicines without a prescription. However, the OCU warns that there are still too many establishments that do not meet the standards and ask the health authorities to take measures in this regard.
Only in 7% of the pharmacies visited the patient was asked about the symptoms he had and he was advised about it
This work, whose data can be consulted in the May issue of the journal 'OCU-Health', has collected the information by visiting 120 pharmacies located in 17 Spanish cities. The modus operandi It consisted of sending a person who said he had been carrying three days with sore throat -Which is usually due to a condition caused by a virus- and asked that they give him something to mitigate the discomfort. In case you were not advised of any remedy, you should try asking for an antibiotic.
The OCU posed as a person suffering from pharyngitis for three days, a symptom normally associated with a viral condition and requesting something to improve. If they did not offer it, they should request an antibiotic. Although the correct thing is for a pharmacy to ask the client about his symptoms and be advised in this regard, according to the conclusions of the OCU study, this only occurred in 7% of the establishments visited, while in 79% of them the purchase ticket was not delivered, among other detected irregularities.
Sources from the Ministry of Health have explained that monitoring the correct dispensing in pharmacies of drugs that require a prescription is a function that corresponds to the Autonomous Communities and the municipalities, to which they will transfer the anomalies reported by the OCU report. They also insist that the population should be aware of the need to make rational use of drugs and avoid self-medication.