Expert: Pharmacists are More Than Just Dispensing Medication

As part of American Pharmacist Month, Pharmacy Times is asking experts what they believe the value of the pharmacist is.

As part of American Pharmacist Month, Pharmacy Times is asking experts what they believe the value of the pharmacist is. Kurt Proctor, PhD, RPh, senior vice president of Strategic Initiatives at the National Community Pharmacists Association, discusses how pharmacists can be utilized in the health care system so much more.

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Kurt Proctor: We say all the time, right, that pharmacists are the drug expert, but we don't really call upon them as much as we should. The health care system doesn't necessarily reward that.

Unfortunately, the economics are driven around prescription dispensing and not around the real benefits of a pharmacist involvement, and that is keeping people healthy, keeping them out of the hospital, lowering overall total health care costs.

As long as the payment for pharmacists is largely around things that just affect a prescription drug budget that doesn't set us up well to be utilized by the health care system, most appropriately and to everyone's best advantage.