Pharmacies in the airport ecosystem and how they serve travelers' health and medicines need: findings and implications for the future

Bhuvan, K.C., Alrasheedy, Alian A., Leggat, Peter A., Molugulu, Nagashekhara, Ibrahim, Mohamed Izham Mohamed, Khatiwada, Asmita Priyadarshini, and Shrestha, Sunil (2022) Pharmacies in the airport ecosystem and how they serve travelers' health and medicines need: findings and implications for the future. Integrated Pharmacy Research and Practice, 11. pp. 9-19.

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Introduction: Pharmacists at airport pharmacies could offer essential health services for air travelers. Consequently, this study aimed to explore the type of professional services, the types of medicines at airport pharmacies and the pharmacists’ experiences and views regarding their practices.

Methods: A qualitative study was conducted with pharmacists practicing in airport pharmacies from June 2020 to December 2020. A validated Google form-based interview questionnaire was developed, and the electronic link was sent to the participants. Recruitment of participants was continued until data saturation was achieved. In total, 15 pharmacists working at different airport pharmacies in different countries were included. Thematic analysis was used in the data analysis.

Results: The study identified six major themes including type of professional services and medicines at airport pharmacies, pharmacists’ experiences, challenges at the airport pharmacy, suggestions to improve airport pharmacy services, pandemics and the role of pharmacists, and business aspect of the airport pharmacies. The study showed that several professional services provided at airport pharmacies, including the provision of medicines, health products, general health services, travel health services, and counseling. Moreover, 46.7% of the participants reported having a dedicated travel health service. In addition, most of the participants described their experience at airport pharmacies as good and exciting as they met different people from different countries. The most common challenges that pharmacists face at airport pharmacies include language barriers, requests for different medicine brands by travelers, and financial issues. The participants indicated that there is a need for promotion of pharmacists’ role in providing health care services at airport pharmacies.

Conclusion: The study showed that pharmacists could play vital roles in providing medicines and health care services for air travelers. However, there is still further scope for improvement in this sector of the pharmacy profession to ensure a more active role in travel medicine.

Item ID: 71240
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2230-5254
Copyright Information: 2022 KC et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2022 02:13
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420399 Health services and systems not elsewhere classified @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420299 Epidemiology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200499 Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200399 Provision of health and support services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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