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Pharmacy services at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games: perspectives of the pharmacy workforce
  1. Kumiko Kasashi1,
  2. Ayaka Sato2,
  3. Mark Stuart3,
  4. Trudy Thomas4,
  5. Sung Hwa Kim5,
  6. Da Mi Jang6,
  7. Hayley File7,
  8. Satomi Suzuki8,
  9. Sandy Jeong Rhie5,6,9
  1. 1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Hokkaido, Japan
  2. 2Graduate School of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Saitama, Japan
  3. 3International Olympic Committee Medical and Scientific Commission Games Group, Lausanne, Switzerland
  4. 4Medway School of Pharmacy, Universities of Kent and Greenwich, Medway, Kent, UK
  5. 5Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea
  6. 6College of Pharmacy, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea
  7. 7Care Quality Commission, London, UK
  8. 8Japan Anti-Doping Agency, Tokyo, Japan
  9. 9Yonsei Institute of Sports Science and Exercise Medicine, Yonsei University, Wonju, South Korea
  1. Correspondence to Professor Sandy Jeong Rhie, College of Pharmacy and Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, South Korea; sandy.rhie{at}


Objectives To evaluate the awareness of the volunteer pharmacy workforce of medication use and their satisfaction with the pharmacy services of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games from a pharmacist’s perspective.

Methods A questionnaire was developed from related articles in published peer-reviewed journals and modified prior to distribution to the whole population of pharmacists serving at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Validity tests were conducted based on expert opinions and Cronbach’s alpha (0.79). The questionnaire consisted of demographics (11 questions), knowledge of medication use in sports (8 questions) and satisfaction on the provision of the service (5 questions). Responses using a 5-point-Likert scale, from strongly agree (5) to strongly disagree (1), and two free text questions were analysed with descriptive statistics.

Results The response rate was 86% (n=32/37). Overall, the pharmacists reported a high awareness of medication use. Specifically, questions on the prohibited list of medications (mean 4.0±SD 0.7), COVID-19 policy (3.8±0.9), use of alternative non-prohibited medications (3.6±1.0) and therapeutic use exemptions (3.5±0.9). Moreover, they rated high satisfaction with the pharmacy service they provided. However, rates were ≤3 for knowledge of the International Olympic Committee Needle Policy (2.6±1.0), Medication Importation Declaration (2.9±1.0) and communication skills (3.0±1.0).

Conclusion Pharmacists were confident and satisfied with the pharmacy service at the games. The study confirms the importance of prior training and education. Game-specific policies and strategies to improve communication skills should be included in the pharmacy education for future Games.

  • Athletes
  • Sports medicine

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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  • Contributors Conceptualisation: SJR, KK and MS; methodology; DMJ, SJR, KK and MS; software: SHK and SJR (guarantor); validation: KK, MS, TT and SJR; formal analysis: SHK, DMJ and SJR; investigation: SJR, KK and MS; resources: DMJ, KK, AS and SJR; data curation: AS, KK and SJR; writing—original draft preparation: SJR and KK; writing—review and editing: SJR, KK, SHK, TT, MS, HF and SS; visualisation: SHK, SJR and KK; supervision: KK and SJR; project administration: KK and SJR; funding acquisition: SJR. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

  • Funding This study was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea Government Ministry of Science and ICT (2020R1A2C1009224) and by Basic Science Research Program funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2020R1A6A1A03043528). This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Ministry of Education (2017R1D1A1B03033389).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.