Emigration within the European Union has increased, especially toward southern countries. This places complex demands on health care providers and community pharmacists, yet there is no E.U. policy that harmonizes health care services and pharmacy practice across member countries. This exploratory study examined immigrants' experiences with community pharmacy services. A survey of 1,000 Finnish immigrants living in Spain's Costa del Sol region was performed in 2002, using a questionnaire that included structured and open-ended questions. Respondents were mostly satisfied with pharmacy services; however, some services had higher medication safety risks - related to medication counseling (for prescription and nonprescription medicines) and obtaining some prescription drugs without a prescription - due mainly to lack of a common language. Pharmacy services in the European Union may not provide adequate assurances of medication safety for immigrants. Consistent E.U.-wide minimum pharmacy practice standards for immigrant populations are needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy