Pharmaceutical care in community pharmacies: practice and research in Switzerland

Ann Pharmacother. 2006 Mar;40(3):512-7. doi: 10.1345/aph.1G199. Epub 2006 Feb 7.


Objective: To describe the current situation and prospects for community pharmacy practice in Switzerland, a confederation of 26 cantons with a population of approximately 7 million, located in the center of Europe.

Findings: For the past 10 years, the Swiss Association of Pharmacists has directed an in-depth reform of the profession, with measures such as a system of remuneration based on pharmaceutical cognitive services, a quality care program named QMS-Pharmacy, a postgraduate education program (including specific titles and certificates) and obligatory continuous education, programs of public relations and health promotion, innovative services of managed care, generics substitution, and others.

Discussion: The implemented changes in management represent a pharmaceutical care solution for Swiss community pharmacies, which face intense competition and a very liberal policy regarding healthcare organization, relating in particular to the important cantonal autonomy, free establishment of ownership of pharmacies, pharmacy chains, dispensing physicians, chemist shops, mail order, and others.

Conclusions: Community pharmacy in Switzerland is making modernization of its role in public health policy a clear orientation. Priorities for the future include reinforcement of education and academic research in pharmacy practice, demonstration of the added value of pharmacists, integration of new information technologies with pharmacies, and development of new pharmaceutical services for managed care network in collaboration with physicians and other healthcare professionals.

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services* / organization & administration
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Drug Prescriptions
  • Education, Pharmacy
  • Health Education
  • Management Quality Circles
  • Nursing Homes
  • Pharmaceutical Services / economics
  • Pharmaceutical Services / organization & administration
  • Pharmaceutical Services / trends*
  • Professional Practice
  • Research
  • Switzerland