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Telepharmacy Services: Present Status and Future Perspectives: A Review

1
Telemedicine and Telepharmacy Center, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Health Products, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, Italy
2
Section of Forensic Medicine, School of Law, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070327
Received: 5 June 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 27 June 2019 / Published: 1 July 2019
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Abstract

Background and Objectives: The term “telepharmacy” indicates a form of pharmaceutical care in which pharmacists and patients are not in the same place and can interact using information and communication technology (ICT) facilities. Telepharmacy has been adopted to provide pharmaceutical services to underserved areas and to address the problem of pharmacist shortage. This paper has reviewed the multi-faceted phenomenon of telepharmacy, summarizing different experiences in the area. Advantages and limitations of telepharmacy are discussed as well. Materials and Methods: A literature analysis was carried out on PubMed, using as entry term “telepharmacy” and including articles on the topic published between 2012 and 2018. Results: The studies reviewed were divided into three categories of pharmacy practice, namely (1) support to clinical services, (2) remote education and handling of “special pharmacies”, and (3) prescription and reconciliation of drug therapies. In general, different telepharmacy services were effective and accompanied by a satisfaction of their targets. Conclusions: Nowadays, the shortage of health personnel, and in particular pharmacists, is a challenging issue that the health systems have to face. The use of a new technology such as telepharmacy can represent a possible option to solve these problems. However, there are unsolved limitations (e.g., legal implications) that make greater diffusion of telepharmacy difficult. Stronger data on the effectiveness of this area of pharmacy care, together with a critical evaluation of its limits, can make actors involved aware about the potentialities of it and could contribute to a larger diffusion of telepharmacy services in the interest of communities and citizens. View Full-Text
Keywords: telepharmacy; community pharmacy; clinical pharmacy; telepharmacy of care; internet pharmacy; pharmaceutical care telepharmacy; community pharmacy; clinical pharmacy; telepharmacy of care; internet pharmacy; pharmaceutical care
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Baldoni, S.; Amenta, F.; Ricci, G. Telepharmacy Services: Present Status and Future Perspectives: A Review. Medicina 2019, 55, 327.

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