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.
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