Allergy Season: Conversations with the Pharmacist

APRIL 19, 2013
Who doesn’t have allergies? And who doesn’t complain when allergy season is in full swing? Pharmacists, always available at the counter, are the health care professionals who ultimately have the most contact with the public during this time of year.
 
It’s a time of conversation starters and the opportunity for the pharmacist to provide advice on both products and strategies that an allergy sufferer can use to get through this difficult period. And once the conversation with a pharmacist is begun, most people find that it continues over the year and spills into other areas of health concerns.
 
As medication experts, pharmacists are in the prime position to impact both the health and pocketbooks of their patients—making suggestions for preventive measures that will save aggravation and discomfort as well as dollars. Their entrepreneurial spirit places them ahead of many professions in national polls as “most trusted,” and with good reason. Pharmacists have learned the art of conversation to provide empathy and counsel—just when the patient needs it most.
 
Pharmacy Times offers our annual Allergy and Asthma issue to help pharmacists do their job better, with practical advice and up-to-date research on these chronic conditions. We also include a wealth of new products in each issue—over-the-counter, prescription, and generic—to keep pharmacists fully up-to-date.
 
Allergies affect so many people in such a wide variety of settings. Our cover story, “Occupational Allergies: Working on It!” outlines the useful strategies and types of cases a pharmacist may see. We also offer an exclusive online table that lists the many occupations that are affected by workplace allergies—including pharmacist!
 
Our Counseling Focus discusses the negative impact of asthma, which is related to allergies in many patients. Often, those patients are depressed and approach their health concerns with anxiety. The pharmacist is in a unique position to counsel these asthma patients and also advise them to see other health care professionals, including specialists, if warranted. With this type of counseling directly from the pharmacist, the high cost of health care can be contained. As pharmacists work closely with patients in their own communities, there is a good chance that conditions such as asthma and allergy can be controlled without expensive tests or hospital stays. This is local community health care at work.
 
Through many allergy seasons, pharmacists have discovered that customer service is a key to their success. Many have personally embraced a true common sense approach to helping their patients—empowering patients to utilize their freedom of choice about services and products.
 
Thank you for reading!
 
Mike Hennessy
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer

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