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Original Research

Open Access

COVID-19 pharmacy student perceptions: pharmacists' impact during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Bryan Zhang1
  • Justina Refela1
  • Frank Breve1
  • Peter Magnusson2,3
  • Joseph Pergolizzi4

1Department of Pharmacy, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA

2Centre for Research and Development, Region Gävleborg/Uppsala University, 80320 Gävle, Sweden

3Department of Medicine, Cardiology Research Unit, Karolinska Institutet, 11153 Stockholm, Sweden

4Clinical Research, NEMA Research Inc., Naples, FL 34108, USA

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2021.208 Vol.18,Issue 1,January 2022 pp.62-67

Submitted: 30 April 2021 Accepted: 09 July 2021

Published: 08 January 2022

*Corresponding Author(s): Bryan Zhang E-mail:


Pharmacists around the world are playing an active role in educating the public about COVID-19. First-year pharmacy students taking a healthcare course at Temple University in Philadelphia were asked to write papers based on the nature of a pharmacist’s contributions during the pandemic. 90% of the essays outlined the importance of community pharmacists, as they are the most accessible healthcare professional, providing immediate social interaction and drug expertise. They help minimize the need for hospital visits, limiting their time in public, therefore reducing their risk of becoming infected. For the pharmacies that have a drive-thru window, over-the-counter medications and other necessities can be sold to decrease the likelihood of transmission. Many students also proposed the opportunity for more leniency in prescribing power. Unless pharmacists are within a collaborative practice agreement, they cannot prescribe even maintenance medication. Due to the pandemic, it has become increasingly hard to reach the doctor or see them in person, as most offices have switched to telehealth. Clinical pharmacists operating out of hospitals have the opportunity to oversee proposed treatment options or experimental drugs, such as remdesivir. Retail pharmacies are emerging as key resources in this pandemic, and it is important that students see this as a vibrant and important form of pharmacy practice.


COVID-19; Pandemic; Pharmacy; Pharmacists; Students; Industry; Community; Hospital

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Bryan Zhang,Justina Refela,Frank Breve,Peter Magnusson,Joseph Pergolizzi. COVID-19 pharmacy student perceptions: pharmacists' impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. Signa Vitae. 2022. 18(1);62-67.


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