International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 896–905 | Cite as

The organizational framework of community pharmacies in Europe

  • Sílvia Filipa Martins
  • J. W. Foppe van Mil
  • Filipa Alves da CostaEmail author
Research Article


Background The role of the pharmacist has undergone profound changes over the recent years. In most European countries, the tendency seems to be that pharmacists are moving from being product-oriented to service-oriented. An interesting series of papers describing care related services of pharmacy in various countries has been published in 2006, but much has changed since then. This paper aims to provide an updated view on the overall health care sector in Europe, with a special focus on services in community pharmacy. Objective To list and compare health care and community pharmacy structure in Europe; and to discuss the facilitators and barriers that can be found in health care systems and may promote or hinder the implementation of new community pharmacy services. Setting European community pharmacy practice. Methods A cross-sectional study was undertaken where data were collected using an online survey sent to a purposive sample of representatives from 27 European countries. Main outcome measure variation in professional community pharmacy services across Europe. Results Data were obtained from 22 respondents in 19 countries (70.4 %). Health care is mainly provided by a form of public National Health Services in 17 of the 19 countries. Demographic criteria for founding new pharmacies were present in 17 countries. Medicines are exclusively available in pharmacies in approximately one third of the countries. Smoking cessation (93.8 %), drug waste management (81.3 %) and pharmaceutical care programmes for specific diseases (77.8 %) were reported as the most widely disseminated services in European pharmacies. Conclusions There are still major differences between community pharmacy practice in Europe. Differences are mostly due to the legal framework and remuneration issues, which impact on the range of services available from pharmacies to the community of each country.


Community pharmacy Community pharmacy services Health care services Europe 



The authors would like to thank respondents to the survey by providing data on their country and by their availability to check data originating and constant availability to clarify authors. We specially thank Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe for providing the initial platform that resulted in this study.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflicts of interest

The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde Egas Moniz (ISCSEM)Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar Egas Moniz (CiiEM)CaparicaPortugal
  2. 2.Van Mil ConsultancyZuidlx arenNetherlands

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