COVID-19 and private drug sellers in Indonesia: a sub-study

Credit: RomoloTavani

The PINTAR research team are undertaking a national survey of all registered community pharmacies and drug stores across Indonesia to help improve the quality of care offered by private drug sellers (PDS) during the current COVID-19 outbreak and any future pandemics.

This sub-study will analyse the PDS’ understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic, the medicines and advice given to clients, and possible actions to improve COVID-19 management practices in the private sector.

As the PINTAR study evolved, it became clear that the inappropriate use of antibiotics amongst PDS in Indonesia is a widespread problem. The pandemic could aggravate the situation by increasing practices of unnecessary self-medication and irrational use and hoarding of antimicrobial drugs (such as antivirals, antimalarials and antibiotics).

The PINTAR team are carrying out the additional sub-study with the support from PDS and the Indonesian Pharmacy Associations with whom they have been working since 2018.

The mixed-methods study aims to investigate the PDS’ knowledge and understanding of COVID-19, including their sources of information; the advice and medicines that PDS give to clients; the interactions and expectations between PDS and clients; measures taken by PDS to protect the staff at pharmacies and outlets from COVID-19; and any immediate actions that could be taken to improve COVID-19 management practices.

To the best of the PINTAR Team’s knowledge, this is the first study in Indonesia exploring the impact of COVID-19 in the practices of PDS in Indonesia. The research will be done through a nationwide online survey of all registered PDS and telephone interviews with a sub-sample of survey participants.

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