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Pharmacy practice

Community pharmacies effective at public health interventions

A systematic review of public health interventions in community pharmacies showed they were as effective as usual care.

Consultation with patient in community pharmacy

Source: BSIP SA / Alamy

Community pharmacies are a cost-effective setting for public health services, study suggests

Public health services could be made more accessible by using community pharmacies. However, there have not been many systematic summaries exploring the impact of services delivered through pharmacies. 

A group of UK researchers conducted a systematic review on alcohol reduction, smoking cessation and weight management interventions in community pharmacy settings. 

They found that, compared with usual care (generally a minimal intervention), smoking cessation interventions were associated with 2.56-fold greater odds of efficacy, and were also deemed cost effective. Pharmacy-based weight management interventions were as effective as those delivered in other primary care settings and of similar cost. However, there was not enough evidence to assess the efficacy of alcohol reduction programmes. 

Reporting in BMJ Open (online, 29 February 2016)[1], the researchers say that, given the potential reach of community pharmacies, commissioners should consider using them to deliver public health services.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2016.20200885

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