The effects of community pharmacy-delivered public health interventions on population health and health inequalities: A review of reviews

Prev Med. 2019 Jul;124:98-109. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.04.003. Epub 2019 Apr 5.


Community pharmacies have great potential to deliver services aimed at promoting health and preventing disease, and are well placed in deprived communities. This review of reviews aimed to assess the effectiveness of community pharmacy-delivered public health services and assess how they impact on inequalities in health using PROGRESS-Plus characteristics. Twenty databases were searched from their start date until January 2018. The quality of the included articles was determined using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews tool (AMSTAR 2). Fifteen systematic reviews were identified reporting 157 unique primary studies. There were a number of community pharmacy initiatives with positive intervention effects on health outcomes. These services were predominantly focused on primary disease prevention, and included smoking cessation, weight management programmes, syringe exchange programmes, and inoculation services. This review supports the development of some community pharmacy public health services. At present, little is known how community pharmacy-delivered public health interventions impact on health inequalities. It would be prudent for future studies to address this by explicitly reporting outcomes according to the PROGRESS-Plus framework. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO registration number: CRD42017056264.

Keywords: Community pharmacy; Health and health inequalities; Health promotion; Prevention; Public health; Umbrella systematic review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services*
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Pharmacies
  • Population Health*
  • Primary Prevention
  • Public Health*