The Pharmacist's Developing Role

Snoring is commonly trivialised and sales of OTC snore 'cures' that encourage the unwary to self-diagnose and self-treat (in order to profit from their misery) commonplace.

Yet the snorer with untreated sleep apnoea can expect to die up to 20 years sooner1 than the average lifespan, independent of age, sex and BMI, which is extremely disappointing when diagnosis and treatment is available from the NHS, that could significantly extend their healthy life.

Screening and signposting are fulfilling roles for the community pharmacist that support the healthy living and better care agenda2.

What are the modifiable risk factors?

Obesity is a key moderator of the effect of OSA on T2DM3. 

As such, lifestyle and behaviour change advice that includes (where appropriate):

  • weight loss
  • alcohol reduction/cessation
  • increase in exercise
  • smoking cessation

is helpful4 and something well-suited to the role of the community pharmacist.

What others say

Below is a short video interview with Gareth Evans, President of the British Society of Pharmacy Sleep Services. 

Gareth explains why he became interested in helping patients with suspected sleep disorders.

Click the icon to play the video.

Our reviews

5 star rating

Sleep trained pharmacist review

Gareth Evans

Thank you for the opportunity to train as a sleep trained pharmacist. Your training platform was simply superb - well thought out, engaging and highly informative for all things snoring and OSA. I can't wait to utilise my new-found knowledge and h...

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Thank you for the opportunity to train as a sleep trained pharmacist. Your training platform was simply superb - well thought out, engaging and highly informative for all things snoring and OSA. I can't wait to utilise my new-found knowledge and help the many people out there lead a healthier life. In fact now that I know how important this field is I may even save a few lives in the process. Thank you again and I hope every pharmacist takes up this opportunity!!

Read Less

Screen snorers and signpost to care

  • Learn about Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

  • Screen and recognise snorers that need further investigation

  • Signpost to evidence-based care and save GP time

Meet your instructor

Adrian Zacher

Sleep patient advocate/champion

I train healthcare professionals how to help their patients stop snoring; sleep and breathe at the same time. Many of my customers find their work so rewarding they limit their practice to it.

I began in the sleep business in 1994, yet I am NOT a pharmacist, dentist nor a doctor. I am however, an instructor, inventor, author, market access business consultant, car enthusiast, amateur cook and proud Dad to 2 fab kids.

More about me here

Course curriculum

    1. Course intro (00:33)

    2. Pharmacist and Dentist PRIVATE FaceBook Group

    3. Entire Course: Aims, Objectives and Outcomes for Planned Learning CPD

    4. Specific Learning Objectives & Educational Outcomes for verifiable CPD (Chapter 1)

    5. Sleepiness and Tiredness - They're different things (00.52)

    6. Key Definitions (04:02)

    7. Diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (02:14)

    8. Risk Factors for OSA - Obesity & Sleep Deprivation (05:22)

    9. Ageing Population and broad classification of Sleep Disorders (02:55)

    10. Child headbanging pillow while asleep parasomnia (00:55)

    11. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea episode video (01:00)

    12. OSA and Driving (02:33)

    13. CAUTION: Fatal accident from falling asleep when driving (00:22)

    14. Polysomnogram (PSG), OSA & Dementia (text)

    15. Icelandic volcano March 2021 (PSG tracing)

    16. Assessment 1

    1. Specific Learning Objectives & Educational Outcomes for verifiable CPD (Chapter 2)

    2. Recap/refresher (03:07)

    3. Pathophysiology of OSA (01:52)

    4. Other causes of Hypersomnolence, Consequences of OSA, Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnoea (05:34)

    5. The Management of Snoring & OSA (03:23)

    6. How do anti-snoring devices work? (01:41)

    7. Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy (04:18)

    8. Surgery - soft tissue (04:29)

    9. Surgery - hard tissue (02:18)

    10. "The straight honest truth about Sleep Apnoea and CPAP" video (14:50)

    11. British Orthodontic Society video animation of bi-max osteotomy

    12. Overview of the treatment options (06:40)

    13. Assessment 2

    1. Specific Learning Objectives & Educational Outcomes for verifiable CPD (Chapter 3)

    2. Snoring and OSA - The Pharmacist's Role (13:03)

    3. Introduction to: The Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Service by Sleep-Trained Pharmacists. (text)

    4. How to signpost a 'Snorer' (06:24)

    5. How to screen a 'snorer' for sleep apnoea (13:32)

    6. Further resources

    1. Final Assessment (80% pass mark required for CPD)

    2. CPD Activity Evaluation Self-Satisfaction (Description)

    3. Feedback questionnaire (mandatory for verifiable CPD - and in order to obtain your course certificate)

    4. Feedback

    5. Your Statement for CPD

    6. Next Steps

About this course

  • Free
  • 41 lessons
  • 1.5 hours of video content

Entire Course: Aims, Objectives and Outcomes for Planned Learning CPD

This online program may be considered Planned Learning Continuing Professional Development (CPD.)

Upon successful completion of this training you will be able to: 

  • Integrate the latest evidence into decision making for snoring and sleep apnoea patients
  • Identify at risk patients using evidence-based tools and assessments in line with the most up to date recommendations
  • Incorporate patient-centred considerations when making clinical recommendations


  1. To enlighten pharmacists about sleep-related breathing disorders and the vital role they may play enhancing the lives of their patients
  2. To educate pharmacists how to screen and recognise snorers with sleep apnoea symptoms and relevant comorbidities and signpost them to appropriate care pathways
  3. To empower pharmacists to act upon the education they have undertaken

Learning Objectives

This online program is divided into three chapters, each with a short assessment and explanation. The final examination has a minimum pass mark of 80% to satisfy verifiable CPD requirements and ensure pharmacists are educated sleep professionals.

The specific learning objectives are:

  1. Understand the relationship between snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and identify the signs and symptoms of OSA
  2. Understand how to appropriately signpost snoring patients and those with symptoms of OSA
  3. Understand how to screen and recognise symptoms of OSA (and relevant comorbidities) that merit further investigation
  4. Understand the role of the pharmacist with concern to sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD)

This online program covers:

  • Basic knowledge of sleep physiology/architecture
  • Pathophysiology of relevant sleep disorders (including the parasomnias and dyssomnias which, in addition to OSA, are causes of excessive daytime sleepiness)
  • Sleep-disordered breathing, OSA, OSAHS
  • Recognising the signs and symptoms of OSA
  • Patient evaluation and assessment

The pharmacist will be made aware of the evidence-based dental, medical and surgical options available for patient treatment and will also gain an appreciation of the medical co-morbidities associated with OSA, an appreciation of the dangers of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), the assessment of EDS and the importance of taking a full and accurate medical and OSA history.

The emphasis of this course is to try and direct the patient appropriately. If in any doubt, the patient should be referred to their GP with a view to specialist assessment and diagnosis.

Educational Outcomes

On completion of the online course you will be able to:

  1. Recognise when a snorer may be appropriately offered lifestyle advice and/or signposting to a sleep-trained dentist or when further investigation is required
  2. Have an understanding of OSA medical comorbidities
  3. Possess an understanding of the medico-legal implications

If you would like this document in a different format then please get in touch and we will do our best to help: 

+44 (0) 1235 364121

Please note

There is a final exam that requires an 80% pass mark. You will also be required to sign a statutory declaration of time spent on the course (3 hours) and complete a feedback form to satisfy verifiable CPD requirements. A CPD certificate will only be issued upon satisfactory course completion.

Screen snorers and signpost to care

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  1. Finn L, Young T. Sleep Disordered Breathing and Mortality: Eighteen-Year Follow-up of the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort. Yearb Pulm Dis. 2009;2009:291-292. doi:10.1016/s8756-3452(08)79181-3
  2. Pharmacy in England: Building on Strengths - Delivering the Future - Great Britain. Department of Health 
  3. Seetho IW, O’Brien S V., Hardy KJ, Wilding JPH. Obstructive sleep apnoea in diabetes-assessment and awareness. Br J Diabetes Vasc Dis. Published online 2014. doi:10.15277/bjdvd.2014.025
  4. Marin JM, Carrizo SJ, Vicente E, Agusti AG. Long-term cardiovascular outcomes in men with obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea with or without treatment with continuous positive airway pressure: an observational study. Lancet. 2005;365(9464):1046-1053. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(05)71141-7