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October is American Pharmacists Month

Pharmacists are Recognized for Their Valuable Role in Healthcare

October is American Pharmacists Month, and we would like to remind the public to “Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine”, as spearheaded by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Around the nation, pharmacists are an integral member of the healthcare team and inform patients on the safe and effective use of increasingly complex medication regimens. American Pharmacists Month is the perfect time to review your treatments with your pharmacist and make sure you have an up-to-date prescription list.

Each year, improper use of prescribed medication leads to more than 1.5 million preventable medication-related adverse events and results in a $290 billion cost to the health care system. Pharmacists are the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) expert, providing services that help to protect the public from medication errors and at the same time educating them about their prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements. Other important services that pharmacists perform during MTM include:

  • A yearly review of medicines, including an action plan, documentation and follow-up visits as necessary  
  • Medicine education for the public to help emphasize purpose, drug interactions, side-effects, and correct dosing
  • Assistance filling out a personal medication record, including food and drug allergies
  • Counseling on medication adherence to identify ways to make it easier to take medications and keep prescription costs within reach
  • Providing immunizations for the public such as seasonal influenza and pneumococcal vaccines
  • Diabetes care training, for example, blood glucose monitoring, proper insulin injection methods, foot care and eye care
  • Health maintenance counseling and guidance, which might include smoking cessation, asthma treatment, and nutrition management, among others
  • Blood pressure screenings, cholesterol screenings, and anticoagulant management

It’s no surprise that pharmacists consistently rank near the top of the list of the most trusted professionals in the nation. Developing a relationship with your pharmacist can also strengthen the health care you receive from your doctor and nurse team. Pharmacists are one of the most accessible health care providers, often available after normal business hours to counsel concerned patients about prescription medication use and health conditions. Pharmacists truly are the last line of defense against medication dosing errors, serious drug interactions, and life-threatening drug allergies. This month, make it a priority to get to know your pharmacist - always your partner in good health.

Source: Fritts M. October is American Pharmacists Month - Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine. October 1, 2012. Accessed September 26, 2013.

Posted: October 2013

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