Involving Pharmacists in Clinical Decision-Making Is Essential
Aislinn Antrim: We often think of prescribers making the decision and pharmacists sort of administering the drugs, handling adverse events, and that sort of thing. But how important is it for pharmacists to be involved in the actual decision making and how can care teams better include pharmacists?
Peter Bonis, MD: Yeah, sure. So, pharmacists work in many settings—in hospitals and PBMs and in retail. In many cases they are the final or nearly the final step before a human, a patient, is going to ingest a drug, so they’re instrumental in making sure that patients receive drugs alone or in combination that are both safe and effective. The complexity is getting worse and so many new types of drugs are available, and we’re at the same time getting a more detailed understanding of patient characteristics that should guide their use. My own experience in rounding with pharmacists as part of the team in the in-patient setting proved repeatedly to me how valuable their insights and involvement can be to help deliver the best possible care.