Pharmacists’ Roles and Practices in Pharmaceutical Services During Covid-19 Pandemic: a Qualitative Study

  • Anna Wahyuni Widayanti Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Gadjah Mada
  • Shahiroh Haulaini Magister Management Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Gadjah Mada
  • Susi Ari Kristina Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Gadjah Mada
Keywords: pharmacist perceptions, pharmacist roles, pharmacy practice, Covid-19 pandemic, qualitative research


The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Pharmacists as health workers also have an important role in this pandemic. This study wants to look deeper into how pharmacists perceive their role and pharmaceutical services during this pandemic. A qualitative study with Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) was utilized. Fifteen pharmacists from Kepulauan Riau province were involved. They were purposively selected to include pharmacists from the community pharmacies, hospitals, and community health centers. The FGDs were conducted with Zoom meetings and were recorded. The data were then transcribed and analyzed with inductive content analysis.  This study found five themes with 18 sub-themes. The five themes are the roles and efforts of pharmacists in managing medicines, medical devices, and disposable medical materials (personal protective equipment); the roles of pharmacists in providing pharmaceutical care; community behaviors during the pandemic; development of pharmacists’  roles and capacity during the pandemic; and external factors influencing the roles and practice of pharmacists during the pandemic. During the pandemic, pharmacists continued to work according to their previous roles and adjusted their roles and practice in pharmaceutical services to follow changes in community behaviors.  This condition also encouraged pharmacists to develop their roles and capacities. The healthcare management team, the government, and the professional organizations influenced their roles, both positively and negatively. The results of this study provide a deeper understanding of pharmacist roles and practices during the pandemic. This understanding will be useful for the pharmacist in developing their potential and capability to be involved as healthcare professionals, specifically during the pandemic situation and generally in disaster management.


Alkhalili, M., Ma, J., & Grenier, S. (2017). Defining roles for pharmacy personnel in disaster response and emergency preparedness. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 11(4), 496–504.
ASHP. (2020). COVID-19 Sample List of Potential Pharmacy Public Health Roles at the Local or State Levels. 19.
Basheti, I. A., Nassar, R., Barakat, M., Alqudah, R., Farha, R. A., Muqatash, T., Thiab, S., & Saini, B. (2020). Pharmacists’ perceived barriers towards delivering their emergency roles during the COVID-19 pandemic and perceived policymakers’ responsibilities. Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice, 13(1), 1–11.
Choe, J., Crane, M., Greene, J., Long, J., Mwanga, J., Sharfstein, J. M., Socal, M., & Strodel, R. (2020). The Pandemic and The Supply Chain. Johns Hopkins University, 2–18.
Çimke, S., & Yıldırım Gürkan, D. (2021). Determination of interest in vitamin use during COVID-19 pandemic using Google Trends data: Infodemiology study. Nutrition, 85(January).
Cresswell, John. W. (2014). Research Design : Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches, 4th edition. SAGE Publication, Inc.
Fitzgerald, T. J., Kang, Y., Bridges, C. B., Talbert, T., Vagi, S. J., Lamont, B., & Graitcer, S. B. (2017). Integrating Pharmacies into Public Health Program Planning for Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Response. Physiology & Behavior, 176(3), 139–148.
Hayden, J. C., & Parkin, R. (2020). The challenges of COVID-19 for community pharmacists and opportunities for the future. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 37(3), 198–203.
Hill, A. Andrew, Wang, J., Levi, J., Heath, K., & Fortunak, J. (2020). Minimum costs to manufacture new treatments for COVID-19. Journal of Virus Eradication, 6(2), 61–69.
Kristina, S. A., Herliana, N., & Hanifah, S. (2020). The perception of role and responsibilities during covid-19 pandemic: A survey from Indonesian pharmacists. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 12(December), 3034–3039.
Loxton, M., Truskett, R., Scarf, B., Sindone, L., Baldry, G., & Zhao, Y. (2020). Consumer Behaviour during Crises: Preliminary Research on How Coronavirus Has Manifested Consumer Panic Buying, Herd Mentality, Changing Discretionary Spending and the Role of the Media in Influencing Behaviour. Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 13(8), 166.
Marwitz, K. K. (2021). The pharmacist’s active role in combating COVID-19 medication misinformation. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 61(2), e71–e74.
Mohamed Ibrahim, O., Ibrahim, R. M., Abdel-Qader, D. H., al Meslamani, A. Z., & al Mazrouei, N. (2021). Evaluation of Telepharmacy Services in Light of COVID-19. Telemedicine and E-Health, 27(6), 649–656.
NHS England. (2014). Quick Guide: Extending the role of community pharmacy in urgent care.
Paudyal, V., Cadogan, C., Fialová, D., Henman, M. C., Hazen, A., Okuyan, B., Lutters, M., & Stewart, D. (2021). Provision of clinical pharmacy services during the COVID-19 pandemic: Experiences of pharmacists from 16 European countries. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 17(8), 1507–1517.
The International Pharmaceutical Federation. (2020). COVID-19: GUIDELINES FOR PHARMACISTS AND THE PHARMACY WORKFORCE. March, 0–48.
Udow-Phillips, M., & Lantz, P. M. (2020). Trust in public health is essential amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Hospital Medicine, 15(7), 431–433.
Wegbom, A. I., Edet, C. K., Raimi, O., Fagbamigbe, A. F., & Kiri, V. A. (2021). Self-Medication Practices and Associated Factors in the Prevention and/or Treatment of COVID-19 Virus: A Population-Based Survey in Nigeria. Frontiers in Public Health, 9(June), 1–9.
WHO. (2020a). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). WHO.
WHO. (2020b). Health Workforce Policy and Management in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response. World Health Organisation Interim Guidance, 2 December 2020, 29.
WHO. (2020c). Timeline: WHO’s COVID-19 responsee. WHO. timeline: WHO’s COVID-19 response
WHO. (2020d). WHO : Guideline on Country Pharmaceutical Pricing Policies.
WHO. (2021). COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update 35. World Health Organization, December, 1–3.
Williams, B. G. A., Scarpetti, G., Bezzina, A., Vincenti, K., Grech, K., Kowalska-bobko, I., Sowada, C., Furman, M., Gałązka-sobotka, M., & Maier, C. B. (2020). How are countries supporting their health workers during COVID-19? Eurohealth, 26(2), 58–62.
Zheng, S. qian, Yang, L., Zhou, P. xiang, Li, H. bo, Liu, F., & Zhao, R. sheng. (2021). Recommendations and guidance for providing pharmaceutical care services during COVID-19 pandemic: A China perspective. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 17(1), 1819–1824.
How to Cite
Widayanti, A. W., Haulaini, S., & Kristina, S. A. (2022). Pharmacists’ Roles and Practices in Pharmaceutical Services During Covid-19 Pandemic: a Qualitative Study. Indonesian Journal of Pharmacy, 33(3), 402-411.
Research Article