Expert Says Pharmacist Intervention Can Impact Patients' Lives

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. Carlie Traylor, PharmD, director of Strategic Initiatives and Student Affairs at the National Community Pharmacists Association, discusses how pharmacist intervention can impact patients' lives and even save lives.

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Carlie Traylor: When I think about the value of a pharmacist, I think every pharmacist has a story of a time where a pharmacist intervened and impacted [a patient's] life. For me, my mother was prescribed medications that gave her hyperkalemia; she had too much potassium. She couldn't even get out of the car at the gas station, and a pharmacist made that recommendation change and really saved her.

So there's countless stories like that, but the one that I would love to talk about is, I have a student who had only ever worked at a chain pharmacy, and they were doing an adherence call and I was coaching them through it. They had been resistant because they're like, "I do this all the time." Turns out the patient had lost their job, didn't have insurance, wasn't refilling their medications because of price concerns.

We got them switched to a cheaper medication. We counseled them. The patient started crying, saying this is why I come to your pharmacy, and we got the phone and the student was saying I'm not used to the answer mattering at that chain pharmacy where they work.

So the value of pharmacist: it's in how we take care of our patients.