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Apteekkisydän pharmacy in Naantali recognised as the Research Pharmacy of the Year 2023

Information acquired from patients is increasingly used in pharmacotherapy decision making to assess for example the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of treatment. Apteekkisydän pharmacy in Naantali gained the Research Pharmacy of the Year 2023 recognition from its active participation in conducting patient surveys. Research pharmacies in Finland are an internationally unique concept for collecting patients’ own experiences from their treatment.


Pharmacy owner Johanna Pulkki (standing second from the right) and pharmacist Pauliina Suotunen (sitting first from the left) were happy to receive the recognition. In the photo also pharmacist Anniina (standing from the left), pharmacy technician and cosmetologist Nina, pharmacy technicians Riina and Joanna with pharmacists Natalja (sitting, second from the left), Laura and Riitta.

Apteekkisydän pharmacy in Naantali, southwestern Finland, has participated in research activities since 2020. The national research pharmacy network covers around 150 Finnish pharmacies with which Oriola conducts patient reported outcome studies. The patient surveys are used to acquire current information on the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy and its impact in patients’ daily lives. The surveys can be used to investigate for example patient adherence to treatment, health behaviour, experienced disease burden and how pharmacotherapy affects the quality of life.

The selection criteria of the Research Pharmacy of the Year 2023 emphasised the commitment in conducting various patient surveys and the positive attitude and activeness of the pharmacy staff.

“I’m happily surprised about the recognition we received. It is thanks to our enthusiastic personnel and our customers, who have actively responded to surveys. I think it is great that also pharmacies have an opportunity to take part in research activities in the pharmaceutical sector. Motivation for it derives from getting to contribute to important research and from a natural interest towards the latest knowledge of our own field,” says Johanna Pulkki, the owner of Apteekkisydän pharmacy.

Research activity deepens customer relationships

Through the patient surveys, pharmacy customers can get their voice heard in developing their own pharmacotherapy in the future. For the pharmacy personnel, the research activities bring variation to customer service tasks:

“At best, research activities increase pharmaceutical know-how and deepen communication between the pharmacy and a customer,” says pharmacist Pauliina Suotunen who is responsible for research activities at Apteekkisydän pharmacy.

According to her, customers are mainly positive towards responding to surveys. However, flexibility is important to them since a customer might not have time to fill in the survey at the pharmacy at that moment. The patient surveys are conducted on Oriola’s digital research platform, which enables the customer to respond to a survey also though a link for example from home.

Patient surveys provide valuable information for decision making in healthcare

The Research Pharmacy of the Year recognition has been shared since 2014. The purpose is to highlight pharmacies’ valuable and pioneering research activity, which is an internationally unique concept for acquiring patient reported outcome (PRO) data.

“Pharmacies are a natural place for conducting research as they are important healthcare contact points, and pharmacy professionals can identify potential customers who meet study criteria. Research activity in pharmacies bears significance for the entire healthcare value chain as PRO studies and data are increasingly used in decision making related to pharmacotherapy. My warmest congratulations to Apteekkisydän pharmacy for the recognition and thank you for the important contribution to research activity,” says Timo Purmonen, Head of Data-Driven Business and Market Access at Oriola.