“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community”
– Anthony J. D’Angelo
What is a community pharmacy?
A community pharmacy is a pharmacy or even a drugstore franchise that caters to the health needs of the people in its local area.
1. Community Health Ambassadors
Community pharmacies should be health ambassadors in that they genuinely look out for the health of the community. According to Public Health England, “Community Pharmacy has great potential as a setting for people to stop and think about their health, and to get advice and support from someone they trust.” For this reason, the community pharmacy must develop a relationship with the locals in the area to develop familiarity and trust – this is needed in order to be effective in giving advice (e.g. in disease prevention, hygiene, sanitation etc.).
Community pharmacies can also be part of health promotion campaigns when addressing wildfire sicknesses such as dengue, HIV, diarrheal diseases. They can even go so far as advocate lectures against drug abuse, smoking, drinking and other vices that pose health threats.
2. Neighborhood Immunization
Mitchel C. Rothholz presented a case study involving the role of community pharmacies in the delivery of vaccines in the United States. The study presents pharmacists as neighborhood front liners – as advocates, educators and immunizers – in the battle against diseases with available vaccines.
As advocates – pharmacists should promote the benefits of being immunized and present it as a primary option for disease prevention.
As educators – It is important that a community knows the health benefits that are available to them – such as new vaccines and alternative or generic counterparts of prescribed medicine.
As immunizers – pharmacists must also be trained to administer vaccinations. This is especially helpful if there are government health projects that they can partner with in order to distribute and administer free vaccines.
3. Access To Affordable, Effective Medicine
More importantly, it is a community drugstore’s role to provide easy access to affordable and effective medicine. In this day and age of consumerism, even the pharmaceutical industry has become competitive. There’s generic medicine, branded medicine and even traditional medicine – community drugstores should be familiar with all of them and be able to recommend the right one to their customers.
Each individual’s contribution to a community is vital. Jean Vanier said, “One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.”
Are our community drugstores and pharmacies doing enough to really promote and be ambassadors of good health? We would appreciate your opinion by sounding off on the comment section below. Thanks!