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Lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic: results of EAHP survey on the future crisis preparedness of hospital pharmacies
  1. Daniele Leonardi Vinci1,
  2. Piera Polidori2,
  3. Nenad Miljković3,
  4. Aida Batista4,
  5. Steffen Amann5,
  6. Despina Makridaki6,
  7. Stephanie Kohl7
  1. 1 School of Specialization in Hospital Pharmacy, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
  2. 2 Clinical Pharmacy, Institute Mediterranean per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione, Hospital Pharmacy Via Ernesto Tricomi, Palermo, Italy
  3. 3 Hospital Pharmacy, Institute of Orthopaedics Banjica, Hospital Pharmacy, Belgrade, Serbia
  4. 4 Pharmacy, Centro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho, EPE, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
  5. 5 Krankenhausapotheke (Hospital Pharmacy), Muenchen Klinik gGmbH, Munchen, Germany
  6. 6 Pharmacy Services, "Sismanoglio- Amalia Fleming", General Hospital of Attica, Athens, Greece
  7. 7 European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Stephanie Kohl, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels 1200, Belgium; Stephanie.Kohl{at}


Aim The present survey aimed to collect information on the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic by hospital pharmacists. It focused on the shortages of health goods and the experiences of hospitals during the first phase of the crisis.

Methods A 17-question survey was conducted by EAHP, looking at the experiences of hospital pharmacists during the COVD-19 pandemic. The survey ran from 16 September to 23 December 2020. Statistical analysis included backward stepwise logistic regression (BSLR), Pearson’s χ2 test, t-test and one-way ANOVA, as appropriate; p≤0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results 1466 hospital pharmacists answered the survey fully. 58%, 63% and 69% of them experienced shortages in medicines, disinfectants and personal protective equipment (PPE), respectively. BSLR showed that being a COVID-19 dedicated hospital increased the risk of medicine shortages (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.31) but the shortages of disinfectants and PPE were lower (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.88; OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.85). Being a specialised hospital reduced the odds of medicine shortages (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.88), while countries with a greater percentage of the population infected had increased odds for all three types of shortages (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.23; OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.50; OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.35). The odds were also higher in answers submitted in September compared with December. The classes of medicines with highest reported shortages were anaesthetics, antibiotics and muscle relaxants. The main entities that provided support were the national competent authorities and manufacturers.

Conclusion Medicine shortages affected the work of hospital pharmacists during the early stages of the pandemic. The features of the crisis and the feedback described in this survey can provide interesting insights for a more resilient healthcare framework in the future.

  • pharmacy service
  • hospital
  • COVID-19
  • public health
  • critical care
  • education
  • pharmacy

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the EAHP, on reasonable request.

This article is made freely available for personal use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the EAHP, on reasonable request.

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