As each issue of Inside Pharmacy is prepared, we focus on providing relevant material and topics that enable the retail pharmacist to provide better patient care. As pharmacists, we have the leading role in this endeavor. The Oscars acknowledge the role of the supporting actors and actresses in making an award-winning film. Similarly, pharmacists should acknowledge and cultivate the supporting role that a good pharmacy technician provides to a pharmacist in delivering exemplary patient care.
I recently attended the back-to-back American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy meetings. I was especially pleased to see the thousands of attendees, and encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm for the pharmacy profession at both meetings.
Patient-Centered Care: Metrics to Measure Quality of Care in the Community Setting for Patients with Asthma
Improving medication use and management is a complex process. There are a variety of external factors that can influence a pharmacist/patient exchange of information (counseling session), including how the patient interprets the information, or even the attentiveness of the patient during the counseling session. These factors will impact each patient differently.
Pain is one of the most common conditions that patients attempt to self-treat with over-the-counter (OTC) medications. In 2012, approximately $3.9 billion was spent on internal analgesics. Topical analgesics are reported to make up $516 million in OTC sales.
Diabetes affects 25.8 million people or 8.3% of the American population, with an additional 79 million patients classified as having prediabetes. Of those 25.8 million people, approximately 90% to 95% have type 2 diabetes. In 2012, the total cost-burden of diabetes, including both direct medical costs and reduced productivity, was $245 billion.
The US healthcare system is plagued by high costs, variable quality, and limited access to care. The passage and enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was facilitated by the transition of focus from quantity to the provision of high-quality, interdisciplinary care, and prevention of costly diseases. Prevention requires a focus on public health and population-based care. The Institute of Medicine defines public health as “fulfilling society’s interest in assuring conditions in which people can be healthy.”
Retail pharmacies are faced with juggling patient care and the burden of administrative responsibilities associated with dispensing medications. One of these responsibilities is related to the prior authorization process, which can be troublesome.
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