How pharmacists use social media

08.02.2024 | Insight

How pharmacists use social media

By Eden Daniel and Doménica Carpio

According to the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), there are over 4 million pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists across the globe. Many of these discuss elements of their professional lives with one another on social media, asking one another questions, sharing stories and raising awareness of key issues. In a recent analysis of pharmacists’ online conversation we’ve uncovered three key ways pharmacists use social media. 

1. To address healthcare challenges 

Pharmacists on X highlighted diverse healthcare challenges across the globe as they advocated for national-level reforms. 

The most discussed topic, representing 6.7K posts, was mental health. Nearly 2% of these posts highlighted the widespread stigma behind discussing mental health concerns and asking for support. Some encouraged the public to actively seek mental health support while sharing helpful resources, helpline details and lifestyle advice to improve mental health. Others shared links to media and events to raise awareness among peers. For example, on LinkedIn and XLara Zakaria posted a link to her podcast on challenges of mental health conversations.

While pharmacists discussed mental health throughout the year, the volume of mental health posts peaked by 192% from the average in October due to World Mental Health Day, with #MentalHealthDay being used in 145 posts. The volume of mental health posts also increased by 132% from the average volume in May due to Mental Health Awareness Week, when pharmacists actively spread awareness of the need to prioritise mental health using hashtags like #mentalhealthawarenessweek and #MentalHealthMatters.  

In addition, pharmacists used social media to encourage vaccination and debunk misinformation spread by anti-vaxxers. For example, Nebraska-based Jeff Weber questioned the credibility of the anti-vax movement’s information sources and ridiculed their readiness to believe vaccine hoaxes

To debunk anti-vaxxer claims on vaccine harm, pharmacists shared statistical evidence on how vaccination greatly reduced disabilities using hashtags like #vaccineswork, and highlighted their importance in reducing deaths

In 1,311 posts, pharmacists used social media to amplify the impact of climate change on health and the need for this to be a priority for pharmacists. Pharmacists around the world participated in many climate change discussions and conferences together, such as the COP28 meet. They shared highlights and learnings from these events across LinkedIn and X, using hashtags like #COP28 and #climatechange

They encouraged peers to join discussions and organisations addressing the impact of climate change on health by sharing webinar links or information on organisations like the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change. To raise awareness among the public, pharmacist Robin Conibere reposted research on the various ways that climate change impacts public health. 

Furthermore, pharmacists on X challenged existing health policies concerning drugs and galvanised for evidence-based national reforms to “end the war on drugs”. Australia-based pharmacist Suzanne Neilsen posted research on the efficacy of harm reduction, whilst another posted a success story article of a fentanyl addict that benefited from harm reduction. These pharmacists galvanised for harm reduction laws over drug use prevention. 

Pharmacists Ivonne Atencio and Suzanne Nielsen reposted research on failed criminalisation efforts to encourage decriminalisation. Jeffrey Bratberg, a US pharmacist, leveraged the credibility of authorities in the field by posting a press release on their advocacy against decriminalisation.

2. To share educational content 

During The Pharmacy Show, the UK’s major gathering for pharmacy professionals, pharmacists were active online and shared their reflections on social media platforms like LinkedIn, X  and Instagram. This included knowledge about recent developments in healthcare, engaging in insightful conversations with experts and staying updated on industry trends. 

On X, eHCPs were particularly active in sharing academic content, with pharmacists engaging with different research findings, including the efficacy of drugs, medication administration and monitoring, and other clinical study outcomes. 

Moreover, pharmacists on YouTube shared a variety of educational content, ranging from drug information to thoughts on career progression. For instance, Yasir Sacranie, an NHS pharmacist, and Raleigh Pharma, a pharmacist in Kenya, use their YouTube channels to make “pharmacy education more accessible” to both patients and healthcare professionals. 

A similar trend was observed on TikTok, where pharmacists used this platform to give tips to patients and share advice. 


#5Things#5thingschallenge#5thingsiwontdo#Storytime#Pharmacist#PharmacistAdvice#Tylenol #nsaids#Ibuprofen#Leave#Medications#Coffee#NowYouKnow#TheMoreYouKnow#Medicaltip#HealthTab#FYP#ForYourPage#ForYou#didyouknow

♬ The Champion – Lux-Inspira

3. To celebrate their profession and role in patient care  

Similar to our analysis of Nurses on social media, Pharmacists made commemorative posts about their profession throughout the year. However, the volume of this conversation increased by 45% from the average on World Pharmacy Technician Day, an annual awareness day led by the FIP. Hashtags like #rxtechday and #pharmacytechnicians were used more than 1,000 times combined.

Pharmacy technicians emphasised the importance of their role, praising peers for supporting and improving patient care and safety alongside pharmacists.

Beyond awareness days, pharmacists like Kara O’Keefe recognised her pharmacist peers as “unsung heroes” and highlighted their contribution to ensuring that safe medications are “available around the clock 365 days a year” to patients. 

On TikTok, Ethan Melillo expressed a similar sentiment, stating that “[Pharmacists] play such a huge role in a patient’s health even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes.” 


The world needs pharmacists and we play such a huge role in our patient’s health even if it doesnt feel like it sometimes #pharmacy #pharmacist #pharmacytiktok #medication #medicine #prescription #trending #fyp #millennialrx

♬ When I Look At You (Instrumental) – BLVKSHP

On World Pharmacist Day, the pharmacist community was thanked for their contributions and dedication to healthcare. Nevertheless, on X, pharmacists called for recognition and support of the work and contributions they make to the healthcare world. Indeed, Pharmacist Melissa, who is also active on other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, stressed the importance of recognition and respect of pharmacists as well as fair pay.

Similarly, pharmacists in India demanded recognition for their crucial role and help with immunisation programs being successful and safe. The hashtag #ફાર્માસિસ્ટો_નું_કામ_બોલે_છે, which roughly translates to “the work of pharmacists speaks volume”, was shared more than 100 times within English-language posts. 

Impacting change through social media 

The online community of pharmacists are keen to highlight their vital role in patient care, educate peers and the public on healthcare developments and address key issues impacting health, from policy reforms to climate change. 

Using a range of social channels they boldly use their voice to impact change and proactively participate in congresses. They are science-orientated, often sharing research, statistics, talks and referencing credible figures to back their stance. 

Pharmacists are genuinely concerned about patient care and share helpful resources online to promote public well-being and mental health. This is also made evident by the large increase in mental health-related posts during global mental health awareness days. 

To learn more about the digital behaviours of HCPs across social media platforms check out other resources including How nurses use social media and How HCPs use Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and LinkedIn or get in touch.


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Meet the Authors

Eden Daniel

Eden, a recent Computational Neuroscience graduate who also holds a distinction in Life Science, is passionate about drawing unique insights from online HCP conversations. With strong investigative abilities and market research experience, she crafts data-driven stories about the healthcare landscape.

In her leisure time, Eden enjoys walking, listening to music, reading and spending time with family.

Doménica Carpio

Domé brings a unique mix of skills, combining an academic background in Media Communications and Project Management, all of which she uses to help pharmaceutical companies digest data and turn it into actionable insights.

Domé loves football, Middle Earth and quality time with friends.