A new international survey shows that over 90% of pharmacists believe they are key to improving patients' health, and while most pharmacists surveyed see their responsibilities increasing, they voice concerns on training and pay. The survey shows that almost 3 in 4 pharmacists (73%) now provide patients with health promotion and management services. Nearly all (9 in 10) pharmacists agree that more information and advice - including on specific medications and treatments - are expected from pharmacists than ever before. However most pharmacists (78%) say that they are asked to provide additional services, such as advice, without fair and proper compensation.

"Pharmacists' roles are changing, and we find ourselves increasingly working with patients and other healthcare professionals to prevent and treat disease. This survey shows that pharmacists welcome this expanded role, as it highlights what they like doing most - helping deliver better patient outcomes - while increasing visibility of pharmacists' expertise. However, we also see an education and income gap that will need to be closed to ensure the pressure on current pharmacists isn't too great, and so that we can continue to attract the best and brightest to the profession in the future," said Ton Hoek, Chief Executive Officer of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP).Other results of the survey show the degree to which pharmacists are concerned about the counterfeit medicines issue.

* A solid majority (61%) say the prevalence of counterfeit medication is a serious issue in their country.

* A solid majority (63%) believe current policies and technology are insufficient to deal with counterfeit medicines

* Most (77%) believe medicine packages should have machine readable barcodes to ensure they are not counterfeit

Pfizer Inc. in collaboration with the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) commissioned APCO Insight to conduct an international survey to better understand the needs, concerns and attitudes of pharmacists. Interviews were held with over 2,000 community, retail and hospital pharmacists in 8 countries (Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, the UK and the U.S.) between April and June 2010.

"Clearly pharmacists and the pharmaceutical industry share some similar concerns relative to patient's health. We both want to ensure that pharmacists have the right knowledge and tools to educate patients about their medicine as well as to ensure patients receive safe, effective and quality medicines, not counterfeit ones. Pfizer looks forward to continuing to support, through appropriate channels, pharmacist education programs that will ultimately translate into better outcomes for patients and healthcare systems, globally", commented Dr. Emma Andrews, Director of External Medical Affairs.