A community pharmacy in Serbia has come up with a novel solution to the problem of providing patients with access to pharmaceutical services and drugs. Stana Tirnanic of the Community Pharmacy VrÅ¡ac decided four years ago to take her pharmacy on the road to allow villagers in the region to access pharmaceutical services, she told the 74th International Pharmaceutical Federation Congress in Bangkok.
Analogous to a mobile library, used in the UK, the mobile pharmacy is a modern, well equipped lorry, with a dispensary, toilet, and patient area used for communicating with patients and for public health interventions such as measuring blood pressure. The mobile pharmacy visits are coordinated to coincide with GP clinics.
Depending upon the size of the village, each location may be visited once a fortnight to twice a week. Residents may have low incomes and the villages are too small to support a permanent community pharmacy presence, meaning that the nearest community pharmacy may be up 35km away. The mobile facility allowed patients in 15 rural villages in the municipality of VrÅ¡ac to access drugs, medical devices and dietary supplements, as well as drug information and advice about acute medical problems.
Most patients were over 65 years of age, requiring drugs for chronic conditions. Regular supply of medication contributed to preventing disease complications and improved patients’ quality of life.