More Than A White Coat
The history and role of pharmacists has evolved over time, but one thing remains constant. Pharmacists are experts in medicine. Each pharmacist understands which drugs are helpful for which ailment and how medication interacts with the body. Today, there are thousands of local and retail pharmacies across the country, employing over 300,000 pharmacists. A local pharmacy can often feel like a means to an end. Yet, the pharmacist has a wealth of information and services that can serve patients. In some cases, these services are free of charge. Here are 3 ways local pharmacies are serving and supporting patient wellness.
1. Warning you of possible interactions
Don’t just pick up another vitamin or supplement without talking to a pharmacist. About 66% of American adults use at least 1 prescription drug regularly. Many of these patients are at risk for drug interactions. Adding a supplement may seem harmless, but the interaction or long-term effects could be dangerous. A pharmacist can consult on any possible interactions with the prescription, food, or any upcoming treatment. Some go a step further to provide a safer alternative, like a topical solution.
2. Providing medication therapy management and counseling
Pharmacists now possess the information and technology that gives a holistic view of the patient’s health. This information allows local pharmacists to provide services like medication therapy management. Pharmacists can look at the patient’s health history to optimize medication use. First, the pharmacist will work with the patient and review all medications and supplements. From there, the patient receives a special plan. In some cases, the pharmacist can change or modify drugs and help limit allergic reactions or unwanted side effects. The patient also has access to counseling to get to the root cause of any misunderstandings or non-adherence.
3. Offering compounding services
While there are thousands of different drugs on the market, these still do not serve the demands of all patients. Some patients need specialized medication, and pharmacists can help with compounding. Compounding combines multiple ingredients or medications in a form that’s best for the patient. Some patients have allergies or need medication that is no longer on the market. Others struggle with oral drugs. A local pharmacist may offer compounding services, creating a drug that makes adherence easier.
Don’t walk away from the pharmacist
These are just 3 of many roles, abilities, and services pharmacists can provide. Now, pharmacists are involved in everything from vaccinations, fertility medications, and disease management. Some pharmacists even save patients thousands of dollars through incentive programs. Taking multiple prescriptions can be difficult, so the extra support can be vital. Don’t just walk away after filling a prescription. Ask about the many ways the pharmacist can make the path to wellness easier.