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Emergency and Disaster Preparedness of European Hospital Pharmacists: A Survey

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2019

Laurence Schumacher
Swiss Centre for Emergency and Disaster Pharmacy, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Western Switzerland, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland Pharmacy of Eastern Vaud Hospitals, Rennaz, Switzerland
Pascal Bonnabry
Swiss Centre for Emergency and Disaster Pharmacy, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Western Switzerland, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland Pharmacy, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland
Nicolas Widmer*
Swiss Centre for Emergency and Disaster Pharmacy, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Western Switzerland, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland Pharmacy of Eastern Vaud Hospitals, Rennaz, Switzerland
Correspondence and reprint requests to Nicolas Widmer, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Western Switzerland, University of Geneva, CMU, 1 rue Michel-Servet, 1211 Genève 4, Switzerland (e-mail:



This study was focused on reviewing the emergency and disaster preparedness of European hospital pharmacists.


An online survey based on International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) guidelines for natural disasters was sent to European hospital pharmacies, with the support of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists. Additional questions were added about the characteristics of respondents, as well as preparedness and experience of manmade disasters. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results.


Hospital pharmacists in France (20%) and Spain (19%) returned most of the 306 questionnaires completed in 27 countries. Half of the respondents had analyzed their regional disaster risk, but 65% had never practiced emergency drills. Fifteen percent of respondents had experienced at least 1 major emergency or disaster event in the last 5 years. Fifty-six percent of those respondents who experienced a disaster subsequently created and promoted internal standard operating procedures (SOPs) for future emergencies, versus 23% for those who had not experienced disasters. Among pharmacists having experienced disasters, 40% organized a post-disaster debriefing to improve their future response.


Results highlighted that most European hospital pharmacists were not fully compliant with FIP guidelines. However, respondents who had experienced disasters were more likely to create and promote SOPs for future disasters. Further worldwide analysis and benchmarking are necessary, and FIP guidelines should be more strongly promoted.

Original Research
Copyright © 2019 Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc.

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