More Than A Dispensary
Pharmacies are no longer one-and-done locations. Today, pharmacists go beyond collecting and dispensing prescriptions. These subject matter experts play a crucial role in effective healthcare. For instance, pharmacists can answer simple health-related questions and build a strong rapport. When the time comes, pharmacists can also perform medication reviews. Medication reviews ensure that the patient’s therapy is on the right track.
What’s a medication review?
As the name implies, medication review is a detailed check of a patient’s existing drugs. More than 130 million Americans take prescription medications. Of this figure, 20% use at least 5 prescriptions, often managing more than one chronic condition. As time goes on, the needs of the patients can change, or the medication requirements can change. An expert like a pharmacist can identify these changes and make helpful recommendations.
What happens during a medication review?
The patient visits the pharmacist with all existing prescriptions, topicals, supplements, and even herbal medication. The pharmacist will account for the medicines in the patient’s possession, comparing them to any records. From there, the pharmacist asks several questions to determine medicine risks, medicine use, and adverse reactions. The patient can also ask questions and raise concerns. Visiting a pharmacist for a medication review has several benefits.
Reviews add and remove drugs accordingly.
Each drug is reviewed for relevance and dosage. The patient’s needs could change over time, meaning a different dosage or drug is necessary. The review allows the pharmacist to discard expired, duplicated, or discontinued drugs. If a particular medication is no longer available, the pharmacist can source alternatives or make the medicine. A clean-up of the medication ensures the patient receives the best possible prescriptions.
Medication reviews help with interactions and side effects
The review will reveal if the patient has any unwanted side effects from the prescriptions. Side effects are a common reason why patients refuse to take medications. Sometimes, the side effects result from over-the-counter supplements or drugs that help another condition. Pharmacists can recommend the safest combinations or use compounding to remove unwanted ingredients.
Medication reviews introduce compounding.
Compounding is the ability to create a custom medicine for a patient’s specific needs. Most pharmacists who perform medication reviews have the means to compound if needed. There are a few reasons why a pharmacist might compound medications, such as;
- A drug is no longer commercially available.
- The patient wants an easier way to take multiple prescriptions
- Current prescriptions contain unnecessary ingredients that cause adverse side effects.
Once the pharmacists establish that compounding is possible, the team creates a custom drug in a custom form. The review increases efficiency, decreases cost and improves overall health.
Medication reviews build trust and rapport.
One of the best benefits is the accessibility of an expert to patients since pharmacists form part of the overall medical team. That comfort allows patients to trust the pharmacist with medical and personal information. Trust and rapport go a long way in medication adherence and visiting other healthcare providers. In addition, a yearly review means patients build a long-term relationship for years to come.
It’s time to take stock
Medication reviews are best for older patients who take multiple prescriptions for multiple conditions. If someone has a recent diagnosis or frequent the hospital for unknown reasons, an inspection can help. Medication reviews ensure drugs are used safely and reduce the risk of complications. Gather all medication and head to the pharmacist for a health check-up.