The study “Pharmaceutical services in Romania. Post-pandemic realities and challenges ” reveals patients trust in pharmacists and their openness to access new services in pharmacies

Bucharest, 15th of June 2021.

Romanian patients trust the pharmacists and the information provided by them, they are very satisfied with the services received in community pharmacies and want new services - this is the conclusion of the study “Pharmaceutical services in Romania. Post-pandemic realities and challenges”, conducted by the Center for Research in Applied Behavioral Economics (CCECA) within the University of Bucharest for the Association of Pharmaceutical Distributors and Retailers in Romania (ADRFR) and the Romanian College of Pharmacists (CFR), launched today, June 15, during an event organized at the Palace of the Parliament. 

This study is part of the effort to reposition the pharmacist profession and develop pharmaceutical services, by strengthening the role and contribution of the pharmacist and pharmacy in the health system. The study analyzes the current on pharmaceutical services to sustain new policies and strategic approaches in the field. The research, conducted by CCECA specialists on a representative sample for the urban population of Romania over 18 years old, investigated the perception of trust in pharmacists, knowledge of existing services in pharmacies and interest in new services. The conclusions presented by the study validate the intention of Romanian pharmacies to introduce new services for patients.

The level of trust of patients in the pharmacist and in the information, they provided is very high level and the interaction with the pharmacist is perceived by most respondents as one of quality.

Patients are familiar with medicines delivery services and information on how to administer the medication and want new useful services in pharmacies, such as:

  • testing for cardiovascular diseases (23% of respondents);
  • rapid testing for infections such as SARS-COV-2, seasonal flu or hepatitis B and C (15% of respondents);
  • determination of blood glucose (12% of respondents).

The study also shows results regarding the confidence and willingness of patients to access new counseling services offered in pharmacies:

  • consiliere periodică avansată în cazul polimedicației (69% dintre respondenți consideră acest serviciu la fel de sigur în farmacie ca și în cabinetul unui medic);
  • consiliere la distanță cu privire la posibilele interacțiuni dintre medicația utilizată și alte medicamente sau alimente (70% dintre respondenți consideră acest serviciu la fel de sigur în farmacie ca și în cabinetul unui medic).

At the same time, 64% of Romanians in urban areas consider flu vaccination in the pharmacy as safe as in a doctor's office.

Patients trust in the services offered in pharmacies is an important factor that validates the intention to introduce new services, according to the study's authors. Thus, patients trust in the advice received from the pharmacist supports the possibility of receiving the vaccine in the pharmacy and offers a viable alternative to vaccination in a doctor's office.

“The results of the study show us two key elements of patients’ perception towards pharmacies: confidence in the skills of pharmacists to provide new services and patient satisfaction regarding the information received. These conclusions confirm that the development of pharmaceutical services is a pillar for the public health system and a general priority for increasing the role of community pharmacy in providing medical services, "stated Iulian Trandafir, President of the Association of Pharmaceutical Distributors and Retailers in Romania (ADRFR).

"Pharmacists are an integral part of the health system and can contribute more to public health by developing pharmaceutical services. The study showed that the patient-pharmacist interaction is perceived as valuable, the politeness, interest shown, availability and respect being positively evaluated by most respondents. We believe that it is the opportune moment to capitalize on the potential of the pharmacist profession, by strengthening the role and contribution it can have within the health system, by developing the pharmaceutical services they can provide for the population", stated the President of the College of Pharmacists, Prof. Ph.D. Dumitru Lupuliasa. președintele Colegiului Farmaciștilor, prof.univ.dr. Dumitru Lupuliasa.

According to the study “Pharmaceutical services in Romania. Realities and post-pandemic challenges”, the satisfaction regarding the services received in pharmacies is determined by the pharmacy's characteristics, the pharmacist's attitude, the amount of time given to the patient, the clarity with which the information was presented, the cost of medicines and their availability based on population needs. Furthermore, confidence in the services provided by pharmacists to patients and the availability of community pharmacy, are important factors that positively influence the intention of adoption of new services in pharmacies.