Future directions regarding the implementation of pharmaceutical services in Romania- legislative changes and activities performed during the COVID-19 pandemic
- At: PPR 2022 (2022)
- Type: Poster
- Poster code: PM-06
- By: ATăNăSOIE, Ana-Maria (Carol Davila University Of Medicine And Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy)
- Co-author(s): Ana-Maria Atănăsoie, Teaching Assistant, Carol Davila University Of Medicine And Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Romania
In the last years, the pharmacist has performed a new range of activities, from traditional medicines dispensing to patient-centered services. In many countries, the implementation of pharmaceutical services has showed significant benefits for public health systems. During the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacists had assumed additional responsibilities and adapted their activities. Nevertheless, in Romania the legal framework and definition of pharmaceutical services have been recently established.
The aim was to identify recent legislative changes contributing to the implementation of Romanian pharmaceutical services. Moreover, we highlighted some new activities performed by pharmacists throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data was collected by searching national authorities databases (Ministry of Health, the College of Pharmacists from Romania, National Institute of Public Health). Electronic databases (mainly PubMed and Google Scholar) were searched to identify new responsibilities of pharmacists after March 2020. Then, information was extracted, analyzed and discussed.
In November 2020, an official definition of the pharmaceutical services was introduced due to the completion of the Romanian Pharmacy Law no. 266/2008. Another important event for the future of the profession was the approval of the list of pharmaceutical services (Ministry of Health Order No. 2382, November 4, 2021), divided into essential and advanced services. The legal framework could be correlated with a positive change regarding the pharmacy residency training (three year duration) and the number of specialist pharmacists. In 2019, there were reintroduced two specialties, like Pharmaceutical Industry and cosmetology and General Pharmacy, in addition to Clinical Pharmacy and Clinical Laboratory. Consequently, the number of places increased with 32% in 2019 comparing with 2018, respectively 63% in 2020, as a measure of the authorities to increase the health personnel due to the pandemic. During the national state of alert, more than 9% of the pharmacy residents had to fulfill a new professional role and to provide assistance to public health departments concerning COVID-19 public support. Through the order of the head of the department for emergency situation, they were sent to airports, ambulance service, COVID-19 call-centers or other administrative departments in the period January 2021-March 2022. In addition to activities carried out usually, such as dispensing, counseling, measuring biological parameters (high blood pressure, blood sugar), community pharmacists were allowed to perform rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 after May 10, 2021. Until January 1, 2022, there were 137 temporary authorized community pharmacies in Romania.
The approval of the Romanian official list of pharmaceutical services represented the first step for expanding the role of the pharmacist and his contribution to the healthcare system. As drug professionals, pharmacists are a valuable resource. During the pandemic, pharmacists were in the first line and had an active role in helping patients, proving the ability to adjust and offer new services. Therefore, in the future, regulators should consider integrating pharmacists in medical multidisciplinary teams, with benefits for patient care and health systems.
Keywords: pharmaceutical services, legislative changes, pharmacist, COVID-19, pandemic.