vaccines, telemedicine and choice of doctor

In the pharmacy you can get vaccines, choose your family doctor or paediatrician, receive medicines for home care and also carry out telemedicine. With the Simplifications bill launched by the Council of Ministers the “service pharmacy”, established way back in 2009, definitely comes to life after the Covid stress test. The Simplifications Bill envisages a prominent role in the healthcare life of citizens – also with a view to the proximity care envisaged by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan – which in 34 articles in its final version it was presented by Minister for the Public Administration Paolo Zangrillo.

The text introduces 25 simplification measures with a wide range of provisions, with a view to the broader plan which in compliance with the Pnrr aims to trigger 200 by 2024 and 600 by the end of 2026. The latest draft of the bill arrived in CDM partly amplifies the tasks assigned to pharmacists already during the pandemic, when the possibility of carrying out tests for Sars-Cov-2 was introduced, but also inserts brand new tasks.

The service pharmacy: indications

In the article “Simplification measures to promote the provision of pharmacy services” of the bill passed by the Government, we also read the possibility of performing diagnostic tests (along the lines of what was cleared for Covid), “in areas, premises or structures, including external ones, equipped with suitable facilities from a hygienic-sanitary point of view and capable of guaranteeing confidentiality”. Areas that must receive authorization from the territorially competent local health authority and which must be clearly indicated to citizens: the traditional green cross that identifies the pharmacy will be accompanied by the “Service Pharmacy” sign.

The pharmacy is increasingly becoming a point of reference for public health, offering a wide range of services that go beyond the simple dispensing of medicines. Thanks to the new provisions of the Simplifications Bill, citizens will now be able to benefit from vaccines directly at the pharmacyin addition to the possibility of choose your family doctor or pediatrician. Moreover, it will be possible receive medications and medical devices necessary for home careresidential and semi-residential.

Telemedicine and diagnostic tests

One of the most revolutionary aspects introduced by the bill concerns the telemedicine. Pharmacists will have the opportunity to offer telemedicine services, using their professional skills to provide advice and support to patients, thus contributing to improving access to medical care even in the most remote areas of the country.

The Simplifications Bill also expands the role of the pharmacist in the execution of diagnostic testsallowing them to support doctors in combating antibiotic resistance and ensuring prescribing appropriateness.

Furthermore, the Simplifications Bill provides for the mandatory training for pharmacists who wish to administer vaccines, thus ensuring high standards of quality and safety for patients.

This transformation of pharmacies into real health centers obviously entails logistical and organizational implications, which the Simplifications Bill duly took into consideration. The spaces intended for the new health services must be separated from those of the main pharmacy and comply with the hygienic-health suitability requirements established by law. Furthermore, the bill provides for the possibility of partnership between multiple pharmacies, which will be able to join forces to offer common services, thus contributing to greater efficiency and territorial coverage.