The Pharmacist As Healthcare Provider

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”

– Winston Churchill

This blog post is an excerpt form my book “Saving Lives: The Role of The Pharmacist in HIV” on Amazon Kindle

The pharmacist is a healthcare provider. Back in the old days, we had the apothecary—the little old guy standing at the back mixing all his chemicals, potions, tablets and pessaries—or the “druggist” who had the soda fountain in the front end of his store, and he stayed at the back filling the orders from the prescriptions that the physician had written.

We’ve evolved to the pharmacist of today, who is actually an expert and a specialist in drug utilization and has a vast knowledge about medications, pharmacology and how the medications work. The pharmacist has become the “go to” team member for drug therapy solutions in many settings, and your pharmacy should be NO exception.

If we look at our society, everybody’s on a pill for something. Almost everyone wants a quick fix—just take a pill for whatever ails you. You can’t sleep, so you take a pill. You can’t stay awake, you take another pill. You’ve got GERD, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, ADD, ADHD, Depression and on and on. Many people are on massive amounts of medications.

To compound that, once they’ve been to their doctor, got their prescription, been to the pharmacy and got their little bag of pills filled, the next thing is they decide they need to take every nutritional supplement, vitamin and everything that’s advertised on TV or at the local store as well. There are risks for massive drug interactions and consequences that can be catastrophic, sometimes ultimately resulting in death.

Out of our whole healthcare continuum, with the massive amounts of prescription drugs that our patients use, the pharmacist is absolutely key. I refer to myself and my colleagues that I work with as healthcare providers. That’s what we are. We provide a critical piece. If our area of expertise gets messed up and the patient gets the wrong prescription, if it’s not appropriate therapy or they don’t understand how to take it, the results can be catastrophic.

 

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