May 15, 2010
The Future of Pharmacy
Pharmacy practice has gone through many amazing changes as American society transitioned through agriculture, industrial, and information ages. Now as we go into conventional ages there are a few questions that one must ask, “Where does one see pharmacy practice going in the future”? And “In what timeframe does one see things changing”? And “How might those changes effect society”? My personal thoughts is to see pharmacy practice developing leadership in the curricula especially dealing with conflicts; although pharmacy students are still in school, their main focus is on therapeutics. With the changes of modern day pharmacy, specifically in a community practice environment students need more interpersonal skills for two reasons: to manage a profitable businesses and give optimal patient care. Business management classes should be taught more because the information is pertinent to their career. Honestly I cannot give a time frame in the changing of pharmacy practice but going by the beginning of apothecary to this date. I would estimate 35years from now with all the modern technology and equipment that is offered. Pharmacists may become integral with the health care system developing medication therapy management, providing patient services such as: reviewing patients medication and patient care. Three concepts that were learned in pharmacy practice that was not known before taking this course was compounding a prescription, the huge responsibilities of a pharmacist managing patient care, and the role pharmacy technicians play in community pharmacies. A Pharmacist dispense prescription drugs to people in need of medical assistance, they counsel patients on the use of their medication, Pharmacists advise physicians, and other healthcare professionals on dosages, side effects, drug interactions, and monitor the health progress of their patients; making sure they are administering their medication the correct way and the medicine is working effectively. Community Pharmacists may provide special services to aid patients who may have conditions such as: diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure. Pharmacists in the healthcare facilities distribute medicine, and advise health care staff on different selections and the effects of the drug that is being taken. Some Pharmacists may make sterile solutions, administer intravenous injections, also they may consult hospitalized patients on the use of their medication; upon discharge. Pharmacists may plan, monitor, and evaluate drug regimens for patients. Some Pharmacists specialize in certain drug therapies such as: chemotherapy, oncology, psychiatric pharmacy, and intravenous nutrition support. Pharmacists are responsible for every prescription filled; ensuring accuracy upon completion. Pharmacists work hours are long and mostly they are on their feet. Pharmacists are becoming more involved with their patient’s healthcare and well being. Also, they are involved; in efforts of improving the quality of the drug consumption process, and identify ways to minimize medication errors. As stated above, duties of a pharmacist are very important; in my beliefs with more practice, passion, and patience these concepts will enhance patient safety. Pharmacists may enhance patient safety by sitting down and spending more time with the patient to discuss his or her medication regimen and target any revisions if needed, or take a clinical intervention approach such as: initiation and titration for drug therapy. In today’s pharmacy practice work force a pharmacy technician’s role is expanding and full of huge responsibilities. A Pharmacy technician’s job is to make certain all patient records are properly organized and the dispensary is maintained to ensure safety for the patients. Along with fulfilling those duties; pharmacy technicians assist the pharmacist in providing medications; along with other prescription products to patients such as: counting and bottling the pills, routine customer care, and assisting patients, and providing information about prescriptions. They also verify prescriptions as well as preventing prescription fraud. After, prescription verification the technician sorts and prepare the prescription, print, and attach labels on the containers. Pharmacy technicians file and retrieve prescriptions. They prepare medical claims, put billing data in the computer, and take inventory of medications and pharmacy stock. I believe Pharmacy technicians are a huge asset to the pharmacy practice because with the duties that they are performing, it gives the Pharmacist more time to focus on patient care and verify the prescription orders; enhancing patient safety. Pharmacy practices in modern day and age; are becoming more complex and there are many patients who are not responding well to modern treatment or may have a unique medical condition. Now these patients can be assisted with the help of a pharmacist; compounding a prescription. Compounding a prescription gives the prescriber and the pharmacist optimal assurance when preparing a special medicine for reasons such as: the medication may not be commercially available; a patient may need his or her medication customized in a different dose form, or patients that have allergies toward preservatives and dyes. Research must be done in order to mix a medication; the preparer must have knowledge of pharmaceutical calculations, and have access to qualified references information. Drug compounding is an important role of ensuring that medications are available to meet individual patient needs. Compounding a prescription has been around for many of years and enhancing patient safety, according to Daniels (2005) stated, Compounding medication was the common way of prescribing drugs before mass-production began in the 1950s. However, as patients’ individual needs have changed and the mass-production includes more and more additives, individualized formulation is once again becoming popular and is continuing to play a huge role in the drug development industry. If pharmacy practice continues evolving to patient care, the students of today will enhance patient safety and learn the skills and abilities needed to fulfill the pharmacist duties of pharmacy practice. Acquiring the proper atmosphere is needed to survive and move forward in the constantly evolution of future pharmacy practices.
Dugan, D. A. (2006). Enhancing Community Pharmacy Through Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.gov Institutional Pharmacy Practice Regulations. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.pharmacyboard.state.wy.us Johnston, M. (2006). The Pharmacy Technician Series:Fundamentals of Pharmacy Practice. Retrieved from http://www.myresource.pheonix.edu Pharmacists Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2010-11). Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/oco/oco