One of our goals at Pharmacy Times is to educate pharmacists on the many aspects of prescription and OTC drugs. It is also important to note that individuals are responsible for making use of the value that pharmacists offer, asking questions when there is confusion, and seeking counsel when there is a problem. In turn, pharmacists can educate and encourage their patients, setting them on a course toward better health.
Pharmacists are an important part of the movement toward greater patient autonomy and expanded access to health care. With increasing consumer reliance on technology for health information, and a trend toward greater OTC product availability, pharmacists can expect their role to expand in terms of providing medication and counseling across a broader range of illnesses. The availability of a wide range of OTC products enables self-treatment of a variety of minor illnesses, improves access to care, and reduces the cost of care for consumers and the health care system as a whole. For more on OTC product availability, see “Rx-to-OTC Switches: Trends to Watch” in this issue.
The clinical focus for this issue is autoimmune disorders, of which there are more than 80 types. The effects of these disorders are farreaching: approximately 20% of Americans have an autoimmune disorder.1 Pharmacists can help by counseling affected patients on supplements such as thyroid hormone, vitamin B12, or insulin. The information and resources you will find in this issue and on www.pharmacytimes.com can help you continue to provide the best possible care to patients with autoimmune disorders. In particular, please enjoy our new Pediatric Pulse department, which focuses on pediatric autoimmune diseases, in this issue of Pharmacy Times.
In the changing world of health care, we at Pharmacy Times feel that it is more important than ever to recognize, advance, and honor the profession of pharmacy. Our Next-Generation PharmacistTM awards program in collaboration with Parata—now in its 6th year—selects and celebrates the innovators and leaders, the passionate and talented, and the entrepreneurs and community advocates in pharmacy. Go to www.pharmacytimes.com to submit your nominations for deserving pharmacists, technicians, or students in one of the 11 categories. We will share their personal stories—and shine the light on the pharmacist—as pharmacy improves the nation’s health through patient education and choice.
Thank you for reading!
Chairman and CEO
1. American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. www.aarda.org/autoimmuneinformation/questions-and-answers. Accessed December 11, 2014.