The new-look Multi-Service Pharmacy

Pharmacies have completely changed since 2011 - these days they're not just shops, but they're also the go-to place for our health queries where you can do blood tests, book a specialist appointment or even check blood pressure remotely. Which is where the name 'Multi-Service Pharmacy' comes from.

Even blood tests and checking blood sugar levels can be done at the pharmacy

New ministerial legislation has increased the range of tests available at the pharmacy. Beyond the usual measuring of blood pressure, at a Multi-Service Pharmacy, on-the-spot blood tests can be done for an immediate evaluation of the most common factors like hemoglobin, liver function and blood cell count with just a drop of blood. Urine tests too, to check its composition, check blood sugars, cholesterol and triglycerides. Other services offer ovulation, pregnancy and menopause testing as well as a colon/rectal examination to establish if there are any traces of blood in the stools. As a result, many pharmacies have a designated area for helping customers with testing with health care professionals who are properly and trained on an ongoing basis. Although pharmacies have increased the number of services they offer, they are still limited in some ways: the pharmacist is not able to take blood or plasma samples by syringe or do procedures that are reserved for other authorized professionals.

Blood pressure can be checked remotely with the help of a multi-service pharmacy

It’s always been possible to check blood pressure at the pharmacy, but these days, thanks to telemedicine, 24-hour active monitoring can be requested by renting a special device called a Holter blood pressure monitor (in technical terms 24 hr APBM). After it’s been used, it’s taken back to the pharmacy and the pharmacist will print out the report with blood pressure figures so that the patient can go to his local heart clinic for a proper assessment of the data.

Book specialist appointments at the pharmacy

Thanks to the computerization of pharmacies, specialist appointments and examinations with public and private health services can now be booked at the pharmacy without having to queue forever in their reception areas. New legislation governing multi-service pharmacies introduced this service specifically with people who live far from booking centres in mind. Medical services can be paid for there as well as medical reports picked up.

There's a nurse at the counter

It used to be difficult to find a nurse to administer a course of injections, but in a Multi-Service Pharmacy that's available at the counter. Thanks to an agreement among nursing professionals, it will be possible to go there at certain times of the day to have an intramuscular injection or treatment in a private setting that complies with specified standards of hygiene and cleanliness.

Home delivery of medication for the most in need

Amongst the new services offered by pharmacies, people who are less able to go there in person, such as the elderly who are alone at home or the very ill with no home support, can book home deliveries of prescription drugs. The toll-free Italian number - 800 189 521 – is active on weekdays from 9 am to 6 pm: an operator checks whether the patient qualifies for the service and puts them in phone contact with their closest pharmacy so they can arrange for the prescription to be picked up, if necessary, and the delivery of the medication. It's important to keep in mind that the service is free, it doesn't provide urgent deliveries and only works within Italy, except for the provinces of Cuneo and Genoa.

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