The impact of the COVID crisis in pharmacy
While the damage of the crisis has not yet been fully accounted for, one sector has suffered the brunt of it, that of pharmacy.
They had to continue to exercise despite the drop in attendance and the considerable lack of stock.
Pharmacists during the Covid crisis
The coronavirus has caused a real upheaval in everyone's daily life. Consumption patterns have changed.
If pharmacies recorded a peak in activity at the time of the announcement of confinement, it was followed by a drop in the passage of customers. The first surveys showed a decrease of around 30 to 50% for pharmacies working mainly for non-prescription customers (those in shopping centers or located in tourist areas).
During the health crisis, the most substantial requests were for basic necessities in the event of a virus: hydroalcoholic gels and masks.
Unfortunately, these could not be answered in time. At first, it was the lack of stock, then the sale of masks drop by drop only reserved for health professionals to finally be able to offer them to the entire population. A long journey and not without pitfalls!
The pharmacy has always been considered a reassuring place where people can confide in about their health problems.
During the period of confinement, pharmacists were, by force of circumstance, on the front line of the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. Unlike overworked doctors, they were available and accessible, without an appointment and free of charge, to reassure and ensure the health of their patients despite the uncertainty that reigned. They were faced with general anxiety without having the recognition and media support that the medical profession could have when their work was also at risk.
The renewal of post-covid pharmacy
Pharmacies didn't really have a choice: they had to reinvent themselves quickly and efficiently.
To compensate for the desertion of their pharmacies, professionals have notably bet on an alternative distribution in order to continue to sell (carrying of drugs, click & collect, etc.).
In order for them to resume an almost normal rhythm, the state has created an emergency equipment fund for pharmacies .
offering emergency aid for equipment and security expenses in connection with the Covid-19 health crisis.
This allowed them to stay tuned to the market and market new innovative products. Their goal is to respond to everyone's problems in order to relaunch their activity.
In order to best meet the demand of their patients, pharmacies have welcomed many brands of organic and environmentally friendly products. They offer natural solutions often made up of essential oils (deodorants, solid toothpastes, balms, etc.).
Along the same lines, several pharmacies have also been won over by the natural solution offered by Hydratis: a hydration boost with a tablet to be dissolved in water. This product has proven itself in the event of a heat wave, sports activities or even alcohol abuse.
In view of the situation, the road is still long and it will be difficult for pharmacists to go up the slope. But they have shown during this period how important and necessary they are through their availability and their advice.