Pharmacy interventions on COVID-19 in Europe: Mapping current practices and a scoping review

Suzete Costa, Mariana Romao, Maria Mendes, Maria Rute Horta, António Teixeira Rodrigues, António Vaz Carneiro, Anna Paula Martins, Erika Mallarini, Huseyin Naci, Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has put community pharmacists at the frontline of prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Pharmacies had to reorganize and implement several different interventions and measures within a very short time frame. Objectives: 1) To map the current reported practice and trends and to review the literature on pharmacy-based interventions on COVID-19 provided in Europe; 2) To identify knowledge gaps and future avenues for pharmacy research, policy, and practice in response to public health emergencies. Methods: We used a mixed methods approach combining country mapping of current practices of pharmacy interventions on COVID-19 reported by pharmacy associations in Europe with a scoping review of published literature. Results: We mapped current practices on 31 pharmacy interventions on COVID-19 in 32 countries in Europe. Almost all preventive measures to reduce health risks have been provided in most countries. Other frequent interventions reflected preparedness for stockpiling, increased demand for services and products, and important patient care interventions exceeding dispensing role. Expanded powers granted to pharmacies and legislation passed in view of COVID-19 enabled services that improve access to medicines and relevant products, patient screening and referral including point-of-care antigen testing, support to vulnerable patients, and COVID-19 vaccination. We identified 9 studies conducted in pharmacies in 7 countries in Europe. Most studies are cross-sectional and/or descriptive. Pharmacy associations played an important supporting role by developing and updating guidance and emergency plans to assist community pharmacists. Conclusions: A wide array of pharmacy interventions on COVID-19 was implemented in several countries within a very short time frame. Research on pharmacy interventions on COVID-19 is still in its infancy but confirmed the wide array of interventions provided and expanded powers granted to pharmacies. These findings may provide a significant impact to improve pharmacy research, policy, and practice in response to future public health emergencies in Europe and globally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3338-3349
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Volume18
Issue number8
Early online date14 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

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