The Pharmacy Open to People

by Federico Bartolomei

The first accessible pharmacy was inaugurated in Bologna.
The tactile map for the blind was given by the Istituto Cavazza.

"The Farmacia Comunale is the pharmacy for everyone, it is the pharmacy where every client feels at ease, where even the disabled person can access independently not only the infrastructure, but also take advantage of all its services, find consultation, real help and feel welcomed." With these words opened the inauguration ceremony of the first accessible community pharmacy which was made possible thanks to the collaboration between ADMENTA Italia spa and the Istituto Cavazza.
Accessible environments, safe and comfortable, leading-edge technological solutions and means used to improve services, this is how was demonstrated to the public the central community pharmacy on Piazza Maggiore in Bologna.
Studied and developed by a team of technicians from the Istituto Cavazza, pharmacists, and representatives of organizations of disabled persons, the project is based on the principle that users with special needs are not different than others, though they need necessary adaptations: some attitude change; logistic, environmental and management accommodations with the objective of increasing comfort, safety, making accessible areas, services and equipment.
Breaking down architectural barriers, introducing automatic doors, acoustic cones and small carpet in raised shapes outside the pharmacy, tactile maps at the entrance, guiding path in relief leading to main counters, accessible website from home and booth inside the pharmacy, training manual for the pharmacists, Braille translation service of the main information relating to the content of the pharmaceutical product.
With this initiative, the group ADMENTA Italia reinforces its business philosophy strongly involved in the social responsabilities of businesses, giving importance to the rights and dignity of people, whether they are workers or consumers. This commitment was realized with the beginning of a specific path taken at the European level, which will shortly bring all pharmacies within the group to a leading-edge standard in regards to the accessibility of infrastructures by users who are blind, low vision or physically handicapped.
"It is not possible to hide anymore behind this story in which the pharmacist only prepares pills, new qualities must now be found to provide citizens with a true added-value", explains Sante Fermi, Administrative Delegate of ADMENTA Italia S.p.A., the Group (holding) managing pharmacies in various Italian communities (Bologna, Cremona, Milan, Lissone, Parma, Prato, San Giovanni Valdarno), "more and more qualified pharmacists, well-light pharmacies, functional and welcoming, extremely competitive prices on products and, therefore, more respectful of clients, important commitment to prevention with health education services."
The problem with prevention, important and indicated among the priorities of public health and the WHO is one of the most fundamental service that can be offered by a pharmacy, services which are at their most efficient when accessible by the whole population.
"Our model pharmacy" continues Fermi "is a centre for services, a place for counseling and interest in behaviour and healthy life style. Our client must take care of his or her own well-being.
Self-measurement of the most important parameters of risk factors of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and its complications; weight control, respiratory capacity is offered together with nutrition advices and, for young people in particular the use of substances for sports activities and safety on the road with alcotests. During the year, associated with the Days for Health introduced by international and national health organizations in all the pharmacies of the Group, are implemented free awareness campaigns with medical centres, and patient organizations; scientific information is provided.
Aimed at the older clientele, we offer Memo Health, a service in which the pharmacist writes on stickers an important notice for the appropriate use of a pharmaceutical product.
The community pharmacy is therefore for everyone because the citizens, through the communities, are shareholders in the management company (20% communities and 80% ADMENTA Italia, our holding company), but also because it is careful to eliminate architectural barriers and behaviour that can create obstacles within the client relationship."

External view of the community pharmacy

Tactile map

Tactile map