/publications/issue/2004/2004-06/2004-06-7951

Pharmacists Play a Major Role in Patient Care

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A survey conducted in early 2004 by the Pri-Med Institute revealed that pharmacists across the United States play an increasingly important role in patient care. The study found that prescribing physicians count on pharmacists for advice on medication, as well as for monitoring prescriptions in terms of drug interactions and side effects. In hospitals, pharmacists are frequently selecting medication and dosages.

The survey showed that pharmacists in retail drugstores report counseling an average of 105 patients per week on prescription drugs and 88 on OTC medications. Hospital pharmacists intercept an average of 1 in every 4 prescriptions by calling the prescribing physician and suggesting a change. For example, 1 of the reasons frequently mentioned for changing a prescription was incorrect dosage. Also, 80% of hospital pharmacists reported often being contacted by physicians for advice on patient medication, and 50% are responsible for determining dosages.

The Pri-Med Institute study surveyed >1500 practicing pharmacists attending Pharm Med Updates continuing medical education conferences in Pennsylvania, Florida, California, New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois during 2003.