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Pharmacists Report Patients do not Treat Cold and Flu Symptoms Early Enough, New Survey Shows
Date:11/10/2009

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent national survey of 505 pharmacists found that nine out of 10 pharmacists believe it is important for a patient to seek treatment early to help shorten the duration and severity of a cold. And 75 percent of pharmacists say most patients should purchase over-the-counter (OTC) cold and flu products at the first sign of symptoms, while only 26 percent of their patients take this proactive approach.

According to the survey, pharmacists are increasingly playing a more prominent role in patient care due to the anticipated severity of the upcoming cold and flu season and the current state of the economy. The survey also showed 87 percent of pharmacists anticipate an overall increase in the number of cold and flu patients seeking their counsel and 85 percent agree that the economic downturn will specifically lead more patients to first come to their pharmacist rather than a physician.

"Early preparedness is going to be more important this cold and flu season; however, even with the threat of stronger, more virulent infections, pharmacists note that patients oftentimes delay treatment allowing a virus to live longer," said Dr. Fred Eckel, Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Experiential Education at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy. "Pharmacists are the most accessible health care provider for patients with cold and flu symptoms and the survey findings emphasize the important role of the pharmacist in educating patients with information about early treatment to shorten the duration and severity of a cold."

The objectives of the survey were to understand the pharmacist's insight and role in providing recommendations for this upcoming cold and flu season. The survey, entitled "National Pharmacist O.T.C. (Observations on the Treatment of Colds)" was sponsored by Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. an OTC healthcare company, and makers of Zicam products
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SOURCE Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.
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