In the pharmacy not only medicines but also telemedicine, diagnostic tests, swabs, vaccinations – WWN

In the pharmacy not only medicines but also telemedicine, diagnostic tests, swabs, vaccinations – WWN

Of Maria Giovanna Faiella

You pay for almost all services, waiting for the service pharmacy trial to be implemented in all regions. In 2023, there will be lasting shortages of medicines, especially antibiotics and anti-inflammatories

One in two citizens always chooses the same pharmacy, especially if they have a chronic illness, due to the relationship of trust created with the pharmacist. In addition to dispensing medications and advice, i most services offered in the pharmacy I’m there blood pressure and weight measurement; there booking of medicines; basic tests such as exams of blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides; The Cup service for booking specialist visits and diagnostic tests; swabs; vaccinations; telemedicine. Still marginalinstead, the involvement of pharmacists in the fight against antimicrobial resistanceas well as the role of pharmacies was underestimated in supporting especially people with chronic diseases inadherence to therapies, that is, following the treatments prescribed by the doctor. These are some data that emerged from the 6th Annual Report on Italian Pharmacy, edited by Cittadinanzattiva in collaboration with Federfarma, with the unconditional support of Teva, presented in Rome.
The survey, which took place from July to September 2023, involved approximately 1,500 pharmacies (one in three in rural areas) and four thousand people, of which more than four in ten had at least one chronic pathology.

Most used services in the pharmacy (from Cup reservations to swabs)

THE services that citizens used most interviewees are: the booking of medicines and other products to be picked up at the pharmacy (86.5%), the swab for Covid (76.8%), monitoring parameters such as pressure measurement (46.3%), the Cup booking service for visits and exams (38.7%), le galenic preparations (34%). 16 percent of respondents did the anti-Covid vaccine in the pharmacy12.6 percent that against the flu. Furthermore, they are active in almost two out of three pharmacies telemedicine services.
These and other services are among those provided for by the regulations (n. 69/2009 and subsequent) on Services pharmacythat is to say paid by the health service, also included in the essential levels of assistance (Lea). For even today almost all of them are paid forwaiting for the experimentation to be actually implemented in each Region.

Service pharmacy: awaiting testing in each Region

There law which establishes the service pharmacy dates back to 2009. The subsequent implementing decrees gave the green light to the first testing phase (from 2018 to 2020) in 9 regions; it was then extended to the others but this was not the case with the arrival of the pandemic.
The Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci also attended the meeting and assured that with the Milleproroghe decree the trial is extended to the end of 2024. The development of the service pharmacy responds to the same strategy that guides primary care reform. The basic idea of ​​promoting a taken charge increasingly effective and homogeneous across the entire territory of needs, especially those linked to chronic conditions, and in a logic of collaboration with other healthcare professionals. a significant fact – underlined Schillaci – is that over 70% of the pharmacies interviewed have participated in the trial or intend to do so. In this way we bring healthcare closer to citizens, making it possible to lighten the load on hospital and local structures and helping to reduce waiting lists for healthcare needs that can also be answered in pharmacies. Of course it stays synergy with general practitioners, paediatricians and specialists is essentialwhich remain irreplaceable even for reporting a Holter or a electrocardiogram performed in the pharmacy.

Drug shortages

It happened to the citizens interviewed that in the last year they had to wait longer than usual for the availability of usual medications: in one case out of three the wait was still compatible with their health needs, for around 13 percent (especially patients with chronic pathologies) it was incompatible. Whether it was a year in which they occurred durable or systematic drug shortages (we talked about it here ) almost all the pharmacists interviewed said this. First of all, antibiotics are in short supply (according to 95.6% of pharmacists) and anti-inflammatories (81.9%), followed by drugs for the treatment of chronic diseases (69.8%), antipyretics (46.8%), sometimes even oncology drugs (11.6% of the pharmacists interviewed said this) e vaccines (7.9%).
Regarding the shortage of medicines, during the presentation of the Report the minister Schillaci he said: We are committed to managing the problem of drug shortages which unfortunately occurs cyclically. A few days ago we have gathered the table on drugs established at the ministry during which I recalled the importance of collaboration with doctors and pharmacists to help citizenspointing alternative medications and checking supplies, through relationships with other pharmacies. The contribution of all the actors of the crucial system, in the interest of citizens.

Equivalent drugs

Trust is growing equivalent drugs (i.e. with the same active ingredient, pharmaceutical form, route of administration, release method and dosage as a branded drug whose patent has expired, ed). More than one interviewee in three says they usually prefer these commonly called drugs genericespecially for the possibility to savefollowed by the trust of the proposal made by the pharmacist and the prescription received by the doctor.

Adherence to therapies

According to the Report by Cittadinanzattiva and Federfarma, in 2023 only 17.4
percent of the 1,500 pharmacies who participated in the investigation actively supports patients in adhering to therapies; of these, less than one in four
receives remuneration for the service by local or regional public bodies.
According to the patients interviewed, the poor ability to adhere to prescribed therapies due mainly to duration of therapyto the costs from the therapies not guaranteed by the National Health Service (a thousand patients say this), to complexity of the therapeutic plan with too many medications to take. These factors combine with further difficultiesalbeit less frequent but nevertheless significant, such as reduced mobility, difficulty in obtaining the drug, not simple interaction with the doctor/specialist.

Prevention and screening campaigns

In 2023 more than two out of three pharmacies that participated in the survey carried out campaigns screening
to identify subjects at risk: specifically, For oncological pathologies
(in 78.9% of pharmacies), chronic pathologies e cardiovascular
(in 35% of pharmacies). Among the other most carried out activities on the subject of prevention: the execution of diagnostic tests/examinations through telemedicine, delivery of information material, measurement of vital parameters, compilation of questionnaires.

The Heart of a Woman pilot project

from 16 October to 10 November 2023 thepilot initiative of health promotion in the context of gender medicine, Woman’s heartwhich took place and was attended by more than 1500 women who underwent a electrocardiogram (ECG) freevia telemedicine services, and have responded to the questionnaire aimed at evaluating their degree of rcardiovascular risk. Well, based on the 22 parameters used, including previous pathologies and lifestyles, the cardiovascular risk is high or very high for one in five women. Among the women interviewed who they take medications for thehypertension (about 30 percent), as many as 38.6 percent have high pressure values and 18.7 percent medium-high values; practically, over half of women
already in therapy has values ​​that deviate from normal parameters.

Counteracting antimicrobial resistance

On the front ofantimicrobial-resistance the pharmacy can make the difference in combating it, especially with the administration of swabs: these rapid diagnostic tests are used to identify the specific bacterial infection (for example, strep) before prescribing an antibiotic: 85.1% of pharmacists interviewed intend to offer this service. In fact, today only 15.7% of pharmacies involved
in specific initiatives o collaboration programs with health authorities for the collection of data or the carrying out of studies on the use of antibiotics and more generally on antimicrobial resistance.


Marco Cossolo, president of Federfarma, says: This year, among the most appreciated services emerges telemedicine, useful for overcoming inequalities in access to services in the area and lightening the load on public structures. Telemedicine also essential for prevention purposes, especially in the cardiovascular field, and implements the prevention and screening activities already carried out in the pharmacy. And thepilot initiative of health promotion in the field of gender medicine, Woman’s heart in the pharmacyaccording to the general secretary of Cittadinanzattiva Anna Lisa Mandorino una double challenge: on one side, on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, especially among women who until a few decades ago were considered less at risk than men, while today studies tell us that, especially after menopause, increases the incidence of cardiovascular events, including serious ones; on the other, on need to extend screening to the entire population, also through the pharmacy network, to intercept those who are not fully aware of the risk factors connected to the various pathologies.

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February 8, 2024 (modified February 8, 2024 | 11:34)

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