Pharmacy practice in Latin America: a review of published literature, 2017–2021

Laura Cristina Vargas López, David Chavez Gallegos


Background: Pharmacy practice (PP) research is a new discipline that studies the scope of interventions and health services performed by pharmacists. Information on PP in Latin America is available; however, to date, it has not been methodically analysed. It is critical to understand the current level of evolution of pharmaceutical activities to support evidence-based decision-making.

Methods: We performed a review of PP literature published in five databases, of which two were international and three were focused on Latin America. The data obtained were qualitative, such that the strategies used for data search and collection were structured by PRISMA guidelines, and data synthesis and analysis were conducted through a narrative review.

Results: Of the 1863 articles found in the initial search, 108 were included in the final analysis. The majority of these were conducted in Brazil (n=73, 74%) and Colombia (n=14, 13%). The interventions and services most frequently reported were dispensing (n=24, 22%), clinical pharmacy services (n=21, 19%) and pharmaceutical care (n=21, 19%). Most studies focused on only one key strategic area (n=94, 87%), specifically on health services provision.

Conclusion: PP in Latin America follows worldwide trends to some extent with regard to the inclusion of clinical pharmacy and pharmaceutical care. However, the region also demonstrates particularities, including the heterogenous level of development amongst its countries. It is vital for Latin American pharmacists to publish their activities, interventions and services in order to generate a solid evidence base to evaluate practice and support informed decision-making.

This article is part of the Hospital pharmacy, rational use of medicines and patient safety in Latin America Special Issue:

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Accepted: ; Published: .


Vargas López LC, Chavez Gallegos D. Pharmacy practice in Latin America: a review of published literature, 2017–2021. Drugs Context. 2022;11:2022-3-4.

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