Document Type



Community Health Sciences


Background: Pharmacists have been at the frontline of the COVID-19 response in Indonesia, providing medicines, advice, and referral services often in areas with limited healthcare access. This study aimed to explore their knowledge, attitudes, and practices during the pandemic, so that we can be better prepared for future emergencies.
Methods: A cross-sectional online survey of community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Indonesia was conducted between July and August 2020. The dataset was analysed descriptively, and logistic regression was used to explore willingness to participate in COVID-19 interventions.
Findings: 4716 respondents participated in the survey. Two-thirds (66·7%) reported knowing only "a little" about COVID-19 and around a quarter (26·6%) said they had not received any COVID-19 guidelines. Almost all were concerned about being infected (97·2%) and regularly took steps to protect themselves and their clients (87·2%). Stock-outs of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other products (32·3%) was the main reason for not taking any precautions. Around a third (37·7%) mentioned having dispensed antibiotics to clients suspected of having COVID-19. To support COVID-19 response efforts, most respondents were willing to provide verbal advice to clients (97·8%), distribute leaflets to clients (97·7%), and participate in surveillance activities (88·8%). Older respondents, those identifying as male, and those working in smaller outlets were more willing to provide information leaflets. Those working in smaller outlets were also more willing to engage in outbreak surveillance.
Interpretation: Drug retail outlets continue to operate at the frontline of disease outbreaks and pandemics around the world. These providers have an important role to play by helping to reduce the burden on facilities and providing advice and treatment. To fulfil this role, drug retail outlets require regular access to accurate guidelines and steady supplies of PPE. Calls for drug retail outlet staff to plat in response efforts including the provision of information to clients and surveillance could ease escalating pressures on the health system during future outbreaks.
Funding: This study was funded by a grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia, under the Stronger Health Systems for Health Security Scheme.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

The Lancet regional health. Western Pacific

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License