INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has proved that community pharmacies play a pivotal role in providing medicines, information and safety measures to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 .
PURPOSE: The study aimed to get to know opinions of pharmacy staff and owners on the functioning of the community pharmacy during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic . MATERIALS AND
METHODS: To collect opinions about functioning of the community pharmacy during the pandemic, we conducted cross-sectional study among pharmacy staff and owners of pharmacies .
RESULTS: The study group included 456 respondents mostly associated with independent pharmacies (55.7 %), from cities less than 100,000 inhabitants (38.8 %). The number of patients as well as filled prescriptions increased during the pandemic . Respondents provided patients with advice on cold (81.6 %), sore throat (77.0 %) and acherelated complaints (68.6 %). Most of participants (64.5 %) declared that they informed patients about COVID-19 . The safety measures in community pharmacies included: a safety regulations poster during the pandemic (97.1 %), handwashing in accordance with recommended guidelines (96.3 %) and using protective gloves by the pharmacy staff (89.9 %). According to 60.7% of participants, the community pharmacy was properly prepared for the pandemic by the owner, however, respondents from independent pharmacies indicate this more frequently (p=0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: Respondents are aware of the role of community pharmacies in the healthcare system during the pandemic, nevertheless, more attention needs to be paid by public authorities and governmental institutions to patient safety in the community pharmacy.