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Scope of community pharmacy practice and the sector’s regulation, distribution of medicines and remuneration are among the aspects explored in a new report published by FIP today. The report presents data from 79 countries that took part in a detailed survey between November 2020 and January 2021, giving the most up-to-date snapshot of the state of community pharmacy around the world.
“Community pharmacy global report 2021” builds on FIP’s previous (2016) report. Findings include a 12.1% increase in the average density of community pharmacists per 10,000 population (since 2016), currently at 5.19 (n=42), and an 11.2% increase in the number of community pharmacies per 10,000 population, currently at 2.78 (n=50).
“The global community pharmacy landscape is in constant evolution, with influencing factors including changing needs, emerging technologies and trends in regulation and self-care, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. This continued research and sharing of knowledge by FIP is important in order for us to ensure that community pharmacy is well-prepared to serve our populations in the future, to indicate what and where the shortfalls are, and to set directions for work. This new FIP report is most valuable — together with the FIP Development Goals it provides inspiration for the transformation of pharmacy in a changing healthcare and consumer context,” said Lars-Åke Söderlund, president, FIP Community Pharmacy Section.
The 2021 report raises concerns over access to community pharmacies and pharmacists, and patient safety in some regions. For example, in general, low-income countries were found to have less than one pharmacy per 10,000 population. “Low access to pharmacies can translate to difficulties in having timely access to medicines and the professional services of pharmacists, and ensuring responsible use of medicines,” Mr Söderlund explained. Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and South-East Asia reported a higher frequency of non-prescription medicines being sold outside community pharmacies, with a likely lack of professional advice and no guarantee of quality assurance.