The role of the community pharmacy has evolved a lot in recent years and with it, the figure of the community pharmacist. Gone are the days where the pharmacist was only in charge of dispensing medicines. New technologies facilitate community pharmacy services and new possibilities of carrying out pharmaceutical care tailored to the needs of patients.
Thus, since the late 1980s, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) have been working on the definition and role of the pharmacist. This has been done through various activities of a global nature, including the meeting held in New Delhi in December 1998.
At the beginning of the 90s, the pharmacists Hepler and Strand gave rise to the concept “Pharmaceutical care”, baptized in the USA as pharmaceutical care. It was gradually receiving the blessing of the WHO, the International Federation of Pharmacists, and the different professional organizations of this group worldwide.
Pharmacists, in cooperation with patients and physicians, improved drug therapy outcomes. This was accomplished by preventing or detecting and resolving drug-related problems. In recent years, the community pharmacy has focused its activity on guaranteeing patients’ adequate use of medicines. It has been participating in numerous health education and prevention campaigns to promote improved health and greater wellbeing of citizens.
Other types of activities have also been carried out to detect hidden pathologies (screening) and the control and evaluation of useful biochemical parameters to evaluate the effectiveness of the drugs used by patients.
In drug addiction, the drug addict is considered a chronic patient. The community pharmacist is accessible and close to health professionals. It is easy to think of him as a useful instrument to collaborate in these patients’ health and social approaches.
Continue reading this article to learn more about the eight most important pharmacy services provided to improve health and wellbeing.
Community Pharmacy Services Can Improve Health
While health care has undergone radical changes in recent years, one thing remains constant: community pharmacists are vital to improving patients’ health and wellbeing.
Community Pharmacy Services Reduce Drug Use
Reducing drug use and alcohol use is a major component of wellbeing. The US Department of Health and Human Services has compiled a set of Healthy People objectives, including: no more than 10% of people will abuse alcohol and illicit drugs, and no more than 10% will be cigarette smokers.
By making community pharmacy services available in local communities, pharmacies can help patients stay off drugs entirely or take less medication to control their condition so they don’t have to deal with harmful side effects.
Pharmacists are especially effective at getting patients off tobacco products because many customers come into their shop on a regular basis for refills. An effective prescription plan for nicotine replacement therapy coupled with constant reminders can get even heavy smokers to kick their habit!
Community Pharmacy Services Help Improve Health Outcomes
A study published in The BMJ earlier in 2017 reported that community pharmacy services for people with long term conditions can improve health outcomes and quality of life.
When possible, these individuals should be referred to community pharmacy services as an alternative to hospital admissions, for example for regular medication reviews and assessments of their wellbeing.
However, researchers found that these community pharmacy services are not always available to those who need them most – those on low incomes or those living in rural areas. For those people, developing a virtual pharmacy service could be a viable solution – allowing pharmacies to offer advice and support through digital channels like social media and email, where they may not otherwise have access to such resources.
Community Pharmacy Services Saves Lives
In addition to dispensing medications, community pharmacy services have been called on to provide an ever-growing array of nonprescription services.
In 2007, more than 65 percent of prescriptions were filled in community pharmacies compared with 31 percent at hospital outpatient clinics and 11 percent at retail drugstores. And a pharmacy’s ability to deliver a wide range of health care services does not stop there. Studies indicate that people who get their prescriptions filled by a local pharmacist are more likely to be adherent to their medications.
In other words, they take them as directed. However, community pharmacies are less likely to show up in doctors’ offices or emergency rooms with health problems that could have been averted if they had taken their medicines correctly from the start.
Community Pharmacy Services Save Money
The services community pharmacists provide go far beyond dispensing medication. From providing free health and wellbeing checks and health promotion to safe needle disposal, community pharmacy is an essential part of your local healthcare system.
Community Pharmacy Services Keep People Healthy
Helping people stay healthy is important for individuals, families, and society. That’s why community pharmacy services are so important.
Community Pharmacy Services Provide Education
Make sure that patients understand how to use their medicines safely and effectively. Ask patients if they have any questions or need help understanding their medication instructions, and offer additional support as needed.
Community Pharmacy Services Provide Medicines
While pharmacies are most often associated with dispensing medications to patients, they also provide many other services.
These include the delivery of blood pressure monitoring devices and medication adherence counseling, which help patients stick to their medication regimens. Because community pharmacy services focus on helping patients’ health outcomes, they play a vital role in improving overall wellbeing.
By addressing individual needs and providing social support, community pharmacy services can improve many individuals’ health and well-being.
The Final Verdict…
Community pharmacy services have become an important part of overall healthcare in the United States.
With over 25 million prescriptions being filled at community pharmacies every day, this vital service has provided medical information and medication to patients who might not otherwise have access to it.
In addition to filling prescriptions, community pharmacies offer services that can improve people’s health and wellbeing.
Hope this article helps you to know how community pharmacy services can improve health and wellbeing.