Development of Clinical Pharmacy in Switzerland: Involvement of Community Pharmacists in Care for Older Patients

Drugs Aging. 2016 Mar;33(3):205-11. doi: 10.1007/s40266-016-0353-6.


The role of the community pharmacist in primary care has been undergoing change in Switzerland in parallel to international developments: it has become more clinically and patient oriented. Special services of community pharmacists to older patients taking long-term or multiple medications, discharged from hospitals or experiencing cognitive impairment or disability have been developed. These services require more clinical knowledge and skills from community pharmacists and are based on, for example, 'simple or intermediate medication reviews' focused primarily to improve medication adherence and rational drug use by a patient. Reflecting the new role of community pharmacies, this article describes the current services provided by community pharmacies in Switzerland, e.g., 'polymedication check', 'weekly pill organizer', and 'services for chronic patients', as well as new Swiss educational and reimbursement systems supporting development of these services. In the international context, involvement of community pharmacists in patient-oriented care is growing. This review summarizes positive and negative experiences from implementation of community pharmacy services in Switzerland and provides examples for the development of such services in other countries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence
  • Patient Care / methods*
  • Pharmacies
  • Pharmacists / organization & administration*
  • Switzerland