Public health services could be made more accessible by using community pharmacies. However, there have not been many systematic summaries exploring the impact of services delivered through pharmacies.
A group of UK researchers conducted a systematic review on alcohol reduction, smoking cessation and weight management interventions in community pharmacy settings.
They found that, compared with usual care (generally a minimal intervention), smoking cessation interventions were associated with 2.56-fold greater odds of efficacy, and were also deemed cost effective. Pharmacy-based weight management interventions were as effective as those delivered in other primary care settings and of similar cost. However, there was not enough evidence to assess the efficacy of alcohol reduction programmes.
Reporting in BMJ Open (online, 29 February 2016)
, the researchers say that, given the potential reach of community pharmacies, commissioners should consider using them to deliver public health services.
 Brown TJ, Todd A, O’Malley C et al. Community pharmacy-delivered interventions for public health priorities: a systematic review of interventions for alcohol reduction, smoking cessation and weight management, including meta-analysis for smoking cessation. BMJ Open 2016;6:e009828. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009828