The ageing of the population, technological advances, new public health threats, evolving patients expectations and shrinking budget are putting under pressure health care systems in Europe and beyond. An increasing portion of health care expenditure is on pharmaceutical and chronic diseases. All these factors are pushing for change. And community pharmacy is changing too to respond to these challenges and meet patients’ needs by shifting the focus from dispensing medicines and diseases to patient care and quality of services.
Pharmacy services aim to achieve the ‘triple aim’:
• Better quality of care
• Better health outcome
• Lower costs
If we look at the main trends in pharmacy services we observe that the number of patient-centered services is increasing.
Core pharmacy services are:
• Dispensing (incl. repeat dispensing and homecare);
• Emergency care (incl. emergency contraception) and minor ailment management.
• Medication management (unit dose packaging, new medicines service, medicines use review);
Over the past decade we are also seeing an increase number of advanced pharmaceutical care services offered to patients, such as :
• Smoking cessation;
• Measurement of blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, weight,
• Chronic disease management;
• Early screening and testing.