OTC company calls for national sleep-related health strategy

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OTC company calls for national sleep-related health strategy

A company that manufactures over-the-counter medicines has called on the government to introduce a national strategy on sleep-related health to its public policy.

Perrigo said it wants to see sleep health “embedded in all aspects of public health policy in England” and urged the pharmaceutical, tech and industries specialising in sleep aids to come together to give pharmacists information and guidance on the latest innovations and products to help patients with sleep problems self-care.

The American-Irish manufacturer also wants policymakers to improve the public’s education of sleep issues as part of any future reforms. Perrigo’s call to action coincides with the release of its State of the Market Report on Sleep which contains the views of pharmacists, GPs, sleep academics and sleep and mental health charities.

Seventy per cent of the 203 pharmacists and GPs who were polled as part of the report felt sleep “not being viewed as a serious health issue was a significant barrier to improving sleep behaviours in the UK".

The research also found 85 per cent agreed that poor sleep “has a significant impact on the mental health of patients” while 57 per cent said patients frequently said their health problems were caused by a sleeping condition. 

Regular poor sleep can increase the risk of obesity, heart disease and type-2 diabetes. Eight in 10 healthcare professionals said they thought sleep-related health problems will increase in the next five years. 

Farah Ali, the chief superintendent pharmacist at Warman-Freed, Perrigo’s learning pharmacy, said the UK is “in the grips of a sleep crisis” and warned “the problem is set to get worse.”

“As HCPs, how we respond to this will be important in helping the UK to better manage these issues,” she said.

“Pharmacists are the first line of defence and are experts when it comes to acute sleep issues. We play a vital role in improving the discourse around sleep and helping to educate patients on what they need to do to get a better night’s sleep.

“However, ensuring we have the latest information on advancements in treatments and understanding of sleep issues themselves will be vital to ensuring we can continue to provide a high-quality service in this area.”

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