July 26, 2012
Press covers community pharmacies' role in saving lives, reducing costs
Alexandria, Va. — Two recent news articles on medication counseling and pharmacist-administered immunizations contribute to the increasing focus on the value of community pharmacy in improving patient health. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) consistently cites such media reports to raise awareness among the public, policymakers, employers, and partners in healthcare delivery about pharmacy’s contributions as the face of neighborhood healthcare.
A July 22 article in Delaware’s DELMARVA Now, titled “Boomers and Beyond: Pharmacists are an underutilized resource,” emphasized community pharmacists’ role in helping patients take medications as prescribed, helping patients who take multiple medications to do so in the right ways and without complications, and helping prevent potential adverse reactions to medications.
In the article Dr. Cynthia Boyle with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s School of Pharmacy highlighted the services that pharmacists provide for patients: "Pharmacists are resources, and do so much more than dispense drugs. We can help patients better understand their medications. In fact, a significant part of our curriculum is teaching students to meet the needs of patients and families through health promotion and education.”
In addition, a July 23 Florida SunSentinel article – “Pharmacies offering pneumonia, shingles vaccines” – stressed the importance of immunizations as an additional way for patients to maintain their health. The article focuses on the ability of community pharmacists to administer flu vaccinations in all 50 states, as well the growing authority across states for community pharmacists to provide other vaccinations as well.
The article further emphasized the impact of community pharmacy in helping to improve flu immunization rates. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that the number of flu shots administered by pharmacists more than doubled from seven percent in the 2006-2007 flu season to 18.4 percent in the 2011-2012 flu season.
“Pharmacists are uniquely educated to empower patients to take greater control over their health,” said NACDS Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Care and Patient Advocacy Kathleen Jaeger. “As the face of neighborhood healthcare, community pharmacy plays an enormous role in the healthcare delivery system in helping to improve patient health and reduce costs.”