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Covid, prevention is increasingly done in the pharmacy

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Covid, prevention is increasingly done in the pharmacy

The pharmacy as a place of access to information and services, in particular with respect to the topics of prevention and generic medicines. In the last year, 34% of pharmacists carried out screening campaigns for the identification of subjects at risk for chronic pathologies: in committing themselves on this front, they concentrated on diabetes (70.3%), cardiovascular diseases (48, 2%), dyslipidemia (35.9%), COPD (14.4%). A separate case deserves massive participation, in 2022, for the oncological prevention campaign for colorectal cancer, to which as many as 78.4% of the pharmacies interviewed have joined. The response from citizens was encouraging, as in 30.8% of cases they participated in at least one of the prevention programs mentioned.

These are some of the data that emerge from the 5th Annual Report on Pharmacy, presented today in Rome and edited by Cittadinanzattiva, with the collaboration of Federfarma and the unconditional contribution of Teva. The Report, drawn up by the Civic Evaluation Agency of Cittadinanzattiva, involved 1030 pharmacies and 1284 citizens, of which almost two out of three affected by at least one chronic pathology. Of the sample of pharmacies analysed, 57.7% are included or are candidates to be included in the experimentation of the pharmacy of services.

equivalent drugs

Compared to equivalent medicines, in the last year 83.4% of citizens received suggestions from the pharmacist for their use and, at the same time, information on the fact that the active ingredient is the same as the original medicine (63% 7% of citizens) as well as reassurances on the safety, efficacy and quality of the equivalent compared to the branded drug (46%) as well as on the possibility of saving (39.3% of citizens report it).

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The pharmacists themselves declare that for two years now the request from citizens to use equivalent medicines has been steadily increasing: today 36.5% of pharmacists think so, in 2020 it was only 13.4%. In terms of the social role of the pharmacy, citizens above all appreciate the courtesy (48.2%) and the knowledge of the trusted pharmacist with respect to their health problems (36.5%), while listening by the pharmacist and speed in serving customers are more important (respectively in 41.8% and 40.6% of cases) for those who do not have a reference pharmacy.

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From the point of view of pharmacists, as regards proximity services and their reorganization envisaged by the territorial assistance reform, prevention and screening activities should be strengthened (84.9% of the pharmacists interviewed think so) , as well as the distribution of medicines (71.3%), telemedicine and diagnostic tests (67%).

Prevention

The Report also presents the variations – in the period 2018/2022 – relating to the topics analysed, highlighting how, for example in the field of prevention, in 2018 only 18% of pharmacies had participated in screening for colorectal cancer. This value was already at 74% the following year, up to 78.4% in the 2022 survey. Among the services active in the pharmacy, the data relating to the monitoring of parameters also increased, in 2018 which could be carried out in 90% of cases, and which reached 96% in 2022. The provision of CUP services is also growing, from 63% in 2018 to 77% in 2022.

“With the aim of promoting health, pharmacists and citizens must continue to follow a common path, which in recent years has already led to many virtuous changes, for an appropriate and conscious use of the drug, for adherence to therapies, for the ‘use of equivalent medicines and in general for access to therapies which must become, with a view to territoriality of treatments, simple, close, without burdening citizens’ time and their organization”, he explains Anna Lisa Mandorinogeneral secretary of Cittadinanzattiva.

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“But citizens and pharmacists must continue to take a common path also to strengthen the pharmacy of services, in order to improve prevention, increase proximity information and health literacy also aimed at young people. And to implement the design of the decree 77 on territorial assistance which from a model written on paper must be transformed into a concrete way of responding to the needs of territorial contexts and of strengthening the resources they already possess with a view to co-planning and participation envisaged by the same decree. direction, the investment of 128 million euros, made available by the PNRR and the Development and Cohesion Fund for the 4,400 so-called subsidized rural pharmacies, will be important for an even more fundamental defense in the internal areas of our country and to counteract the inequalities of health of our territory”.

Pharmacy vaccinations

In terms of so-called “routine” vaccinations, the flu vaccination is provided in 39.6% of cases. More than half of the pharmacists (from 54.5% to 58.1%) are in favor of introducing vaccination against Herpes Zoster, Papilloma virus (HPV) and Pneumococcus into pharmacies, as are 70% of the citizens questioned. The anti Covid-19 vaccination is provided by 38.2% of the pharmacies involved in the survey. Support to therapeutic adherence About a third of the pharmacies (29.8%) provide specific services aimed at supporting therapeutic adherence for patients, in particular for the benefit of chronic pathologies: above all, diabetes (83.2%), pathologies cardiovascular (73.8%), dyslipidemia (48.5%) and COPD (44.6%). There are still a few (10.1%) citizens who declare that they have used a therapy adherence service in pharmacies, even though they know them (8.1% are unaware of its existence). On the other hand, in those who use it, adherence to treatment has improved a lot (38.2%) or quite a bit (52.6%).

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The equivalent drug

59.5% of pharmacists believe that the changes brought about by the pandemic have had a large/enough impact on the time dedicated to providing information to citizens on equivalent medicines. 80.4% of those choosing the equivalent drug among citizens are guided by trust in the proposal made by the pharmacist, whose role as informer and popularizer in this area too needs to be strengthened. Services offered in pharmacies and telemedicine Among the services offered systematically, the monitoring of parameters stands out (96.2%), the booking of drugs and other products to be collected at the pharmacy (94.6%), the basic diagnostic tests/exams (79 .2%), the CUP service (76.8%) and the Covid swabs (72%).

The defibrillator is present in one out of four pharmacies, while 84.8% of citizens are in favor of having one in every pharmacy. In almost half of the pharmacies it is possible to find telemedicine services such as telecardiology (48.5%) and telemonitoring of blood pressure (46.5%).

Difficult to find telepneumology services (4.5%). As regards the citizens questioned, only 15% said they had used telemedicine services.

Rural pharmacies

36.7% of the sample of pharmacies involved in the survey are located in rural areas, and a part of these operate in municipalities in inland areas and with fewer than 3,000 inhabitants: 55.1% of these pharmacies (defined as “subsidized” ) has submitted or intended to submit (at the time of data collection) an application to receive funds from the PNRR relating to Mission no. 5. These funds are to be devoted to expanding the services offered by pharmacies to the community and, based on this survey, almost two out of three pharmacists (64.3%) believe they should be used to improve the dispensing of medicines, for one in two (49.7%) the taking charge of patients with chronic diseases, and above all to increase first and second level services for 76.1% of pharmacists

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