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New FIP global survey shows clear contribution of pharmacy to health beyond dispensing

A number of advanced community pharmacy services are offered in more than 50% of countries and territories, which cover over three-quarters of the world’s population, according to a new publication launched today by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) at the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The document, “Pharmacy at a glance: 2015–-2017”, is a publicly accessible summary of the latest detailed survey that FIP conducts every two years. The full results are available to its member organisations. 

The survey, of 79 countries and territories, found medicines use review services to be available in 68%, disease management programmes (e.g., for diabetes, hypertension or asthma) available in at least 47%, and the measuring of clinical parameters (blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index) in 62%. However, the report’s author Mr Gonçalo Sousa Pinto says only 12% of these services were found to be covered by health insurance (public or private), meaning that their costs are largely borne by the pharmacy or the patient, or both.

The study is an authoritative source of information on the state of the pharmacy profession at the global level, giving an overview of topics ranging from the distribution of pharmacists in different sectors and access to pharmacies, to models of generic medicines dispensing/substitution and the availability of medicines online. The report summary, which presents the data in eight infographics, also includes a section on hospital pharmacy regulation and professional services.

“This report provides a snapshot of how the profession is practised, regulated and remunerated, what the global pharmacy workforce is, and how medicines are distributed to patients worldwide. It identifies emerging challenges and opportunities, and empowers FIP member organisations to advocate for improved health outcomes through pharmacists,” Mr Sousa Pinto said.
He added: “This study provides evidence of the multiple contributions of pharmacists to the efficiency and sustainability of health care systems and to improving health. It stands as proof of the commitment of pharmacists as a vital and engaged health care profession.”

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