October is American Pharmacists Month! The purpose of American Pharmacists Month is to recognize the role that pharmacists play on a healthcare team. Pharmacists are more than dispensers of medication–Pharmacists are the medication experts on the healthcare team and they are there to advocate for YOU and YOUR healthcare needs.
Americans spend billions of dollars each year on prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and this money is wasted if medications are used incorrectly. Each year, in the US, failure to take medications as prescribed causes more than 1.5 million PREVENTABLE medication-related adverse events and costs the healthcare system approximately $290 billion. One of the best ways to decrease your healthcare costs is to take your medicine correctly. When patients know their pharmacist and feel comfortable asking questions about their medications, the chance of a medication error occurring significantly decreases.
Your pharmacist and your prescriber are part of a team, working together, to ensure that you are getting the best selection and management of your prescription and nonprescription medications. The pharmacy profession is expanding in many directions to fit YOUR healthcare needs. Services that NuCara pharmacists can provide to you currently include, but aren’t limited to:
v Custom prescription compounding
v Daily living aids & home medical equipment
v Ostomy and wound care
v Home oxygen/respiratory services
v After-breast surgery products
v IV services
v Medication packaging
As NuCara pharmacists, we’re here to provide you with the services you need and we’ll deliver them with the service you want. In addition to the services above, pharmacists can offer you a broad array of education, prevention, and wellness services to help you improve your health and get the most out of your medications:
v Prescription medication education – purpose, interaction, side-effects, timing and dosing
v Non-prescription (over-the-counter) medication and vitamin/mineral/herbal supplement education for your condition or lifestyle
v Assistance finding additional funding for costly medications
v Medication adherence reminders or counseling on ways to make it easier to take medication
v Important seasonal and life-span immunizations
v Diabetes Care – blood glucose monitoring, proper insulin injection technique, foot & eye care
v Health Maintenance Counseling – smoking cessation, asthma care, nutrition management, physical activity, body mass index (BMI) screenings, hormone testing, skin care, & dental care
v Healthy Heart Management – blood pressure and cholesterol screenings
You should choose your pharmacist as carefully as you choose your provider. Find a pharmacist that you are comfortable talking with, and one who takes the time to help you with your medications. Your pharmacist can help you better manage your health if you keep him or her informed about your health and the medications you are taking. For this reason, it is very important to use the same pharmacy for all of your prescription services – this way your pharmacist has a complete list of your medications and can check for any problems or interactions.
Know your Pharmacist. Know your Medicine. Happy American Pharmacists Month!
By: Pamela Wong, PharmD