Once primarily associated with dispensing medications alone, many pharmacies have now evolved into dynamic healthcare hubs, offering a diverse range of services that extend far beyond traditional prescription filling. Similarly, pharmacists have emerged as crucial members of the healthcare team, playing integral roles in patient care, medication management, and promoting overall wellness. At the forefront of this transformation in Belgium is Multipharma, a co-operative that today stands as the country’s leading pharmacy network, counting on 245 pharmacies and 1,800 employees, 620 of whom are pharmacists.
Pharmacists’ Expanded RoleAs the company’s CEO Geert Reyniers explains, “we are much more than mere suppliers of pill boxes. Instead, we have the far broader and more important remit of providing valuable health advice and pharmaceutical care.” This broader remit in overall healthcare provision was especially apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Multipharma stepped in to offer much-needed testing and vaccination services in its pharmacies. In 2021 alone, the chain conducted 95,000 antigen tests, sold 600,000 self-testing kits, and by 2022 Multipharma pharmacists themselves were able to administer vaccines, thus relieving pressure on overburdened primary care centres and physicians. Reyniers, himself a qualified pharmacist with a background working for a host of leading global pharma and medtech firms in several countries, has prioritised the evolution of the pharmacist’s role since assuming the position of Multipharma CEO back in 2021. “We have developed the role of 'advisor-coordinating pharmacist' with the aim of optimising the therapeutic regimens of patients in collaboration with physicians,” he states.
Our core competency is pharmaceutical care