Understanding the role of community pharmacies and drug stores during the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia

The challenge: 

Research to date from the PINTAR study has revealed widespread inappropriate use of antibiotics amongst private drug sellers (PDS) in Indonesia. There is a real and present danger that the COVID-19 pandemic may further exacerbate problems of unnecessary self-medication and spark irrational use and hoarding of antimicrobial drugs such as antivirals, antimalarials and antibiotics. Our team are undertaking a national survey of all registered community pharmacies and drug stores across Indonesia to explore their understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic and the different medicines and advice given to clients in relation to COVID-19. We are also asking about actions that could be taken to improve COVID-19 management practices by private drug sellers, who are the first source of care for the vast majority of patients in Indonesia.

The project: 

We already have strong engagement with PDS and the Indonesian Pharmacy Associations through Phase 1 of the PINTAR study. Drawing on these existing collaborations, we will investigate the impact of COVID-19 on the practices of PDS in Indonesia.

Our team are undertaking a mixed-methods study among PDS in Indonesia to explore:

  • PDS knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 including information sources;
  • Current advice and medicines given to clients in relation to COVID-19;
  • PDS interactions with patients and client expectations of PDS;
  • Measures taken by PDS to protect pharmacy and outlet staff from COVID-19
  • Any immediate actions that could be taken to improve COVID-19 management practices by PDS
The method: 

We will explore these issues through a nationwide online survey of all registered PDS and telephone interviews with a sub-sample of survey participants. To best of our knowledge, this would be the first study in Indonesia exploring such issues.

The impact: 

This study will provide vital evidence on the types of advice given and medicines dispensed by community pharmacies and drug stores to suspected COVID-19 patients. This evidence will inform the design of interventions and policies to improve the quality of care offered by private drug sellers during the current COVID-19 outbreak and any future pandemics.

This is a sub-study of the 'Protecting Indonesia from the Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance' (PINTAR Study).

Project contact: 
Project supporters: 

This research is being funded by a grant from the Indo-Pacific Institute for Health Security (DFAT) under the ‘Stronger Health Systems for Health Security’ Scheme.

Project collaborators: 
  • Professor Tri Wibawa (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia) 
  • Professor Ari Probandari (Universitas Sebelas Maret, Indonesia) 
  • Professor Virginia Wiseman (Kirby Institute) 
  • Dr Mishal Khan (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) 
  • Dr Marco Liverani (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) 
  • Professor Stephen Jan (The George Institute for Global Health) 
  • Associate Professor Shunmay Yeung (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) 
  • Professor John Kaldor (Kirby Institute)
  • Professor Matthew Law (Kirby Institute)
  • Professor Ric Day (UNSW Sydney) 
  • Dr Neha Batura (University College London) 
  • Professor Rebecca Guy (Kirby Institute)
  • Associate Professor Johanna Hanefeld (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) 
  • Ms Aine Heaney (NPS MedicineWise, Australia) 
  • Dr Harry Parathon (Chair Antimicrobial Resistance Control Committee, Indonesian Ministry of Health, Indonesia) 
  • Dr Gill Schierhout (The George Institute for Global Health)
  • Dr Luh Putu Lila Wulandari, MPH (Kirby Institute) 
  • Dr Astri Ferdiana (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)
  • Dr Yusuf Ari Mashuri (Universitas Sebelas Maret, Indonesia)