Local chemists should be allowed to do more to support GPs in tackling major public heath concerns such as obesity, according to a new study.
Research by Durham University has found almost nine out of 10 people in the UK live within a 20-minute walk of a chemist.
In highly deprived areas, closer to 100% of households are an easy walk from a pharmacy.
This accessibility, plus the lack of need for an appointment, means pharmacists are ideally placed to offer over-stretched GPs greater support on issues such as obesity, excess drinking and smoking, according to the experts behind the research.
The findings go against the often-quoted "inverse care law", which states good medical facilities are most easily available to those who need them least.
More top news
A team at Maastricht University, led by Prof Mark Post, want nothing less than to revolutionise our food industry with lab-grown meat.
Santa Montefiore said she hoped her "beloved sister" was being looked after in Heaven during a private funeral.
A tribunal decided that people with certain mental health conditions should be able to claim Personal Independence Payments.