The influence of SARS-COV-2 pandemic in the pharmaceutical service in ALBANIA
Main Article Content
COVID-19, Albania, Pharmacist, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice
Objective: In the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of the pharmacists was confirmed as central at the territorial level. The purpose of this study was to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices of pharmacists in Albania, critical changes in the Albanian pharmaceutical market during the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluate factors influencing the quality of the pharmaceutical service. Methods: A nationwide survey was conducted, using an online questionnaire targeting Albanian pharmacists during 2021. Results: Most of the respondents were females (86.2%), belonged to the 30-39 age group (51.7%) and worked in community pharmacies (73%). Although most of the respondents did participate in training courses (62.8%), only about 38% of them had good knowledge about COVID-19 (score 5/8). Moreover, the level of knowledge increases the possibility to apply the rules. 65% of the pharmacists who were very afraid of getting infected with COVID -19, stated that they followed the WHO rules compared to 37 % of those who were not afraid. Regarding the medicines offered, 64% of the respondents claimed that there have been difficulties in ensuring the adequate medicines during the pandemic. Furthermore, although 61% of the pharmacists declared that the price of medicines during the pandemic has not changed, 58% of them thought that the revenues of all pharmaceutical sectors have risen. Conclusion: From this study it is concluded that although the pharmacists in Albania have demonstrated strength, professionality, and commitment to offer pharmaceutical service to the highest level, they faced numerous challenges during this difficult time. In the future, the pharmacist’s role can be extended in the community to provide successful medical service and their collaboration within and between pharmacists and physicians is essential.
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