REVIEW: Public health competencies for pharmacists: A scoping review




Competence, Global health, Pharmacy, Public health


Background:  Pharmacists are increasingly called to integrate population health approaches into their role.  Public health knowledge and skills are recommended to be incorporated into the pharmacy curricula and professional development to enable competence of pharmacists in this area. 

Aim:  To describe the competencies required by pharmacists to contribute to the public health of populations. 

Methods:  A scoping review of peer-reviewed and grey literature discussing competencies in both pharmacy and public health was conducted.  Competencies were extracted into a matrix of pharmacy and public health competencies and inductive coding of themes was undertaken. 

Results:   Analysis of 58 papers showed important themes of professionalism, communication and collaboration with communities and other health professionals.  Pharmacist services providing health promotion, screening and disease prevention should be directed at community needs.  Evolution of pharmacy competencies in global health, health informatics and disaster management are current topics. 

Conclusion:  A public health perspective in all pharmacy competency domains may assist pharmacists to understand their responsibility in improving the health and wellbeing of communities and ensure the profession has a positive impact on local, national and global health indicators.

Author Biographies

Robin Warren, James Cook University, Australia

Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Dentistry

Louise Young, James Cook University, Australia

Medicine, College of Medicine and Dentistry

Karen Carlisle, James Cook University, Australia

Medicine, College of Medicine and Dentistry

Ian Heslop, James Cook University, Australia & University of Lincoln, United Kingdom

College of Medicine and Dentistry and College of Science

Beverley Glass, James Cook University, Australia

Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Dentistry


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How to Cite

Warren, R., Young, L., Carlisle, K., Heslop, I. ., & Glass, B. (2021). REVIEW: Public health competencies for pharmacists: A scoping review. Pharmacy Education, 21, p. 731–758.