Pharmacists Role in Patient Care is Expanding
The role of the pharmacist on a primary care medical team is changing across the country. As medical care in general shifts from treating a single instance of a condition to a more holistic approach to healthcare, pharmacists are assuming a more expanded role in an individual’s care.
The Pittsburgh Business Times explains the expansion as pharmacists are ” increasingly being utilized as a cost-effective way of holding down health costs while improving overall patient care.” And their explanation raises an important point: pharmacists can play a key role in helping to reduce costs in a world where the cost of healthcare is starting to outpace traditional budget-busting line items like education a state’s bottom line.
Not only can pharmacists help to counsel patients to stay on their prescription drug regimen, which has been found to help keep costs down in the long run, but they also help by identifying lower-cost generic alternatives to name-brand drugs. The fact that they can administer vaccinations at lower costs than what physicians charge can also be a big help to the health care bottom line. Add in the fact that community pharmacists get to know their patients and can help to identify drug interactions, and it becomes easy to see why the role of the pharmacist can and should continue to expand.