Specialty Pharmacists Are Invaluable in the Management of Patient Care
Pharmacy Times® interviewed Clayton Edwards, the Chief Operating Officer of AllianceRx Walgreen Prime, on the value of a pharmacist in the management of patient care.
Alana Hippensteele: Today, I’m speaking with Clayton Edwards, Chief Operating Officer of AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, on the value of a pharmacist.
Clayton, in your opinion, what is the value of the pharmacist?
Clayton Edwards: Hi Alana, thank you. You know, specialty pharmacists are really a vital part to the patient's health care team. And we do a lot more than just fill prescriptions. Patients
interact with their pharmacist roughly seven times more than they're going to interact with their
primary health care providers, and that is an awesome responsibility for us, and we can build so much trust with that patient.
So not only will a pharmacist educate the patient on the medication they're taking and the side effects, but we also have the opportunity to educate that patient on their disease state to actually help monitor that patient and how they're progressing with that disease state. And, if through those conversations with the patients we find something that's not going well, we have a great opportunity to talk to the other health care providers, the physicians or whomever, to help modify that therapy for that patient, so that they ultimately live better healthier lives.
Now, not only do we focus on the health of the patient, but I think we focus on the patient holistically, and that pharmacist has the opportunity when we think about social determinants of health to identify things that most other practitioners would not. Does that patient live in a food desert? Are they housing insecure? We all know if they are thinking about, Where am I going to sleep tonight or I'm super hungry, where am I going to eat, medication is much lower on their list than those priorities that they have. So, we have a great opportunity to connect that patient with appropriate social services so they can get the help that they need, and that would include also some patient financial assistance programs. So the value of the pharmacist, I believe, is invaluable in how we work with and manage patient care.
Alana Hippensteele: Yeah absolutely, that's a great answer. Thank you so much for your thoughts, Clayton.
Clayton Edwards: Thank you.