Pharmacists miss red flags in secret-shopper sting

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Pharmacies are failing to recognise ‘red flag’ symptoms that require referral to a doctor in up to 50% of cases, a secret-shopper investigation has found.

Half of those who request OTC salbutamol when they have symptoms of uncontrolled asthma are being sold the product and are failing to be referred to a GP, a University of Sydney study has found.

The results are similar for people who seek loperamide for protracted travel-related diarrhoea, according to a study involving 158 undercover visits to 13 retail pharmacies.

In an initial round of visits just 50

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