Community pharmacy global report

Date: 11 August 2021

The scope of community pharmacy practice and the sector’s regulation, distribution of medicines and remuneration are among the topics explored in a new report published by the International Pharmacy Federation (FIP).

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 2016 report.

Findings include a 12.1 per cent increase in the average density of community pharmacists per 10,000 population, currently at 5.19, and an 11.2 per cent increase in the number of community pharmacies per 10,000 population, currently at 2.78.

FIP Community Pharmacy Section president Lars-Åke Söderlund said: “The global community pharmacy landscape is in constant evolution, with influencing factors including changing needs, emerging technologies and trends in regulation and selfcare, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This continued research and sharing of knowledge by FIP are 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.”

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 said.

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.

​The full report is available to FIP member organisations only but an executive summary (“Community pharmacy at a glance 2021”) is accessible by all.

Contact: The Guild
Phone: 13GUILD

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Page last updated on: 11 August 2021