International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 1268–1276 | Cite as

Sharing prescription medicines: results of a survey of community pharmacy clients in Auckland, New Zealand

  • Alexandra Gascoyne
  • Kebede Beyene
  • Joanna Stewart
  • Trudi Aspden
  • Janie SheridanEmail author
Research Article


Background The practice of medication sharing, the lending (giving) or borrowing (taking) of prescription medicines, has been reported increasingly in the literature. Aim This study aimed to investigate prescription medication sharing practices among adults in Auckland, New Zealand. Setting Community pharmacies in Auckland. Method A cross-sectional survey was conducted in ten community pharmacies in Auckland during March, 2012. Clients were invited to complete an anonymous questionnaire to assess their medication sharing practices. Main outcome measures Proportion of respondents reporting lending or borrowing; information provided or received. Results Of all participants (N = 642), 25.5 % reported borrowing, and 24.1 % reported lending prescribed medicines in the past year. Furthermore, 14.8 % of participants reported ever giving a child’s prescribed medicine to another child in their care, and 49.8 % reported having leftover prescription medicines at home. Of those who borrowed medicines (n = 164), 56.1 % received written medication instructions from the lender, and of the lenders (n = 155), 47.1 % provided verbal instructions with the lent medicines. Conclusion The sharing of prescription medicines in Auckland appears to be similar to that reported in other developed countries, and it is now clear that information provision while sharing does not always occur. Approaches to reduce harm resulting from sharing medicines should be explored.


Borrowing Client behaviour Lending New Zealand Prescription medicines Sharing 



The author would like to acknowledge the support of pharmacists who allowed their premises to be used for data collection. Thank you also to all the participants. The research was supported by the University of Auckland.


This study did not receive any external funding.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Gascoyne
    • 3
  • Kebede Beyene
    • 1
  • Joanna Stewart
    • 2
  • Trudi Aspden
    • 1
  • Janie Sheridan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health SciencesThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health SciencesThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Formerly from School of PharmacyThe University of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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