Pharmacists do more than dispense medication

Pharmacists are the most accessible and trusted healthcare professionals. [Istockphoto]

This year’s World Pharmacists Day was an opportunity to celebrate the essential role pharmacists play in the delivery of healthcare.

This year’s theme, “United Pharmacy in Action for a Healthier World,” emphasized pharmacists’ goal of exemplifying leadership, community, ownership and solidarity within the healthcare industry.

Most of us understand that pharmacists are responsible for the supply chain of health products. However, the role of pharmacists is much more important in the health care delivery system than we probably realize.

Over the past four decades, the role of the pharmacist has evolved from someone who was primarily responsible for the safe and accurate dispensing of medications to a patient, to someone who works side-by-side with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals in sophisticated and highly specialized health care practice settings to ensure appropriate management of drug therapy.

The pharmacy profession has focused on technical, product-oriented functions, towards patient-centered care, desired patient outcomes, drug information, and drug utilization review. This change is usually referred to as Pharmaceutical Care.

In addition to dispensing medications and ensuring patient safety, today’s pharmacists play a greater role as an integral part of the healthcare team across the continuum of care and treatment. patients.

Pharmacists are the most accessible and trusted healthcare professionals. This accessibility allows them to perform a wide range of patient care activities, including counselling, medication management, and preventive care. Beyond the care of individual patients, pharmacists have expanded their reach to design and implement interventions that promote and protect the public health of communities.

Indeed, significant progress has been made in Kenya in the provision of efficient and modern pharmaceutical services and in expanding the range of services offered by pharmacists in the care and treatment of patients.

The commitment of the pharmaceutical profession to patient care, as well as the hard work and determination to maintain the supply of healthcare products and key pharmaceutical care services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, has been a source of immense pride.

Some pharmacist interventions include health education and awareness; access to health products and technologies; pharmaceutical care; management of health programs; drug safety monitoring and quality assurance.

Pharmacists also play a key role in the prevention and management of communicable and non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, mental health, HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases.

Historically, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, as the regulatory body for the practice of pharmacy, has supported the role of pharmacists and pharmaceutical technologists in public health. To achieve its mission to protect and promote the health of the public, the council has increased access to pharmaceutical services at the primary health care level by improving the involvement of pharmaceutical personnel in primary health care facilities.

Dr. FM Siyoi is CEO, Pharmacy and Poisons Board.

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