Alta participació de les farmàcies de la Regió Metropolitana de Barcelona en el Programa de Cribratge de Càncer Colorectal
According to a study prepared by researchers from the Cancer Screening Unit of the ICO l’Hospitalet and the EPIBELL Program (IDIBELL), in the period 2017-2018, out of a total of 643 pharmacies affiliated to the Official College of Pharmacists, 528 were adhered to the Program, a figure that corresponds to 85.4% of the total.
Accessibility and awareness on the part of the population are the main barriers detected when it comes to participating in screening programs. In this sense, pharmacies play a key role thanks to their widespread implementation throughout the territory and the knowledge they have of the population, as well as the relationship they establish. Citizens perceive pharmacies as a place where they can receive advice on their health, which facilitates the establishment of a close and trusting relationship. Likewise, they are community centers aware of their environment, giving added value to the evaluation of screening programs, being able to offer specific strategies and interventions for improvement. l’avaluació dels programes de cribratge, podent oferir estratègies i intervencions de millora concretes.
It is for this reason that in 2010, and following the positive experience in other European countries, the ICO decided to include pharmacies in the screening program, currently becoming the only points of collection of the kits in its area of influence for detecting occult blood in women. According to the recently published study, the good acceptance can be explained by several reasons. Firstly, the network of participating pharmacies is coordinated by the Official College of Pharmacists, a fact that ensures coordinated work under the same criteria and standards. Secondly, pharmacists have received specific training, providing them with the necessary technical knowledge to give advice and carry out the tasks involved in the sample delivery and collection process. Last but not least, pharmacists receive remuneration for participating in the Program, a fact that reinforces their commitment to the initiative.