Facilitators and barriers to community pharmacy PrEP delivery: A scoping review

China R Harrison*, Hannah E Family, Joanna Kesten, Sarah Denford, Sarah Dawson, Jenny Scott, Caroline Sabin, Joanna Copping, Lindsey Harryman, Sarah Cochrane, Jeremy Horwood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an effective medication to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV. PrEP is available free of charge in the United Kingdom from sexual health clinics. Expanding PrEP delivery to community pharmacies holds promise and aligns with UK government goals to eliminate new cases of HIV by 2030. The aim of this scoping review was to describe the existing evidence about the barriers to and facilitators of community pharmacy PrEP delivery, for pharmacists and pharmacy clients, as Aligned with the Capacity Opportunity, Motivation Behaviour (COM-B) Model.

Five bibliographic and five review databases were searched from inception to August 2023. Literature of any study design was included if it discussed barriers and facilitators of community pharmacy PrEP delivery. Trial registrations, protocols and news articles were excluded.

A total of 649 records were identified, 73 full texts were reviewed, and 56 met the inclusion criteria. Most of the included literature was original research (55%), from the United States of America (77%) conducted during or after the year 2020 (63%). Barriers to PrEP delivery for pharmacists included lack of knowledge, training and skills (capability), not having the necessary facilities (opportunity), concern about the costs of PrEP and believing that PrEP use could lead to risk behaviour’s and STIs (motivation). Facilitators included staff training (capability), time, the right facilities (opportunity), believing PrEP could be a source of profit and could reduce new HIV infections (motivation). For clients, barriers included lack of PrEP awareness (capability), pharmacy facilities opportunity) and not considering pharmacists as healthcare providers (motivation). Facilitators included awareness of PrEP and pharmacist’s training to deliver it (capability), the Accessibility of pharmacies (opportunity) and having an interest in PrEP (motivation).

To effectively enhance PrEP delivery in UK community pharmacies, the identified barriers and facilitators should be explored for relevance in the UK and subsequently addressed and leveraged at the pharmacy team, client and care Pathway level. By comprehensively considering all aspects of the COM-B framework, community pharmacies could become crucial providers in expanding PrEP accessibility, contributing significantly to HIV prevention efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere26232
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the International AIDS Society
Issue number3
Early online date17 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Journal of the International AIDS Society published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International AIDS Society.

Structured keywords

  • NIHR ARC West


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