An investigation into consumer attitudes towards self-medication and the resultant impact on the community pharmacist.
Self-medication is a practice that can contribute significantly towards reducing total healthcare expenditure in South Africa. It empowers people to treat themselves in a responsible and cost effective manner. Pharmacists are in an ideal position to implement, monitor and contribute to the success of the concept of self-medication in South Africa. This study will attempt to analyse the acceptance and success of this concept in South Africa. The study will examine the impact of demographic variables, attitudes of both pharmacists and consumers towards self-medication, and views of the government and pharmaceutical organisations. An attempt will be made to obtain viewpoints of other healthcare workers, such as doctors, on the implementation and acceptance of self-medication. The information obtained from structured questionnaires to both pharmacists and consumers will be analysed to arrive at conclusions and recommendations on the concept of self-medication. These conclusions and recommendations will be used to create a conceptual framework for consumers and pharmacists. It is hoped that findings from this empirical study will contribute to the body of knowledge and shed new insights into responsible self-medication in South Africa.