Pharmacists Can Do More than Fill Prescriptions

Pharmacists Can Do More than Fill Prescriptions

06.26.12 | By Greg Lopes

PharmacistOver the years, I've learned that going to the pharmacy is not like a trip to the dentist - it's much less painful, and I'm always struck by how much pharmacists know and are willing to help. (Dentists are willing to help, but they often use a drill.)

Today, the Wall Street Journal's Laura Landro highlights the role pharmacists can play helping patients take their medicines and understand more about their conditions

"Big chains like CVS and Walgreens, which each operate more than 7,000 retail stores, are training their pharmacists in counseling skills, reaching out more to people who don't fill prescriptions and making it easier for customers to find pharmacists with special knowledge of their conditions," the article states.

The article also notes that independent community pharmacists are becoming more proactive, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association.

This is an example of the health care system working to achieve the best outcome. We have written numerous times about the importance of medication adherence to keeping people healthy, getting them healthier and avoiding unnecessary medical care, like a hospitalization or emergency room visit.

You have probably heard us say it before, but the article points out that research from the New England Healthcare Institute shows patients who don't take their medication cost the U.S. an estimated $290 billion in avoidable medical spending every year. This is an issue that can make a difference in patients' lives and help our system save some needed money.

The next time you are in your local pharmacy, take some time to get to know the pharmacist.

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