This month is a time to recognize pharmacists’ contributions to healthcare and all they can do for their communities. The theme for this year’s American Pharmacists Month is “Easy to Reach and Ready to Help.” The American Pharmacist Association (APhA) strives to educate the community on the role pharmacists play as an important part of a patient’s healthcare team.
Did you know that 90 percent of Americans live within two miles of a community pharmacy? That means that out of 325.7 million* people in the United States, 293.13 million are within walking distance of a pharmacy. According to a journal article titled The availability of pharmacies in the United States: 2007 – 2015, “the number of community pharmacies increased by 6.3 percent from 63,752 (2007) to 67,753 (2015). Retail chain and independent pharmacies persistently accounted for 40 percent and 35 percent of all pharmacies, respectively, while the remainder were comprised of mass retailer (12%), food store, (10%), clinic-based (3%) or government (<1%) pharmacies.” These statistics put a whole new meaning to “Easy to Reach.”
In addition to being easy to reach, pharmacists are full of knowledge and are ready to help. They aren’t just there to fill prescriptions. They instruct patients on safe medication use, diabetes management, provide flu shots and other disease prevention vaccines, and answer questions about supplements, over-the-counter products, high blood pressure, and pain management, to name a few. Pharmacists do important work every single day.
At Roseman University, our College of Pharmacy prepares our students to become competent, caring, and ethical pharmacists and provides patient centered care, while addressing the pharmacy-related needs of the community. The College fosters a culture that is aware of and sensitive to the healthcare needs of the community in order to make a positive impact through service related activities.
We would like to recognize all that our pharmacy students have done for the communities we serve in Utah and Nevada. Last year our first-year and second-year pharmacy students made a huge impact while at their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) sites. Below are the statistics for the 2017-2018 academic year.
- Input a new prescription into the computer system – 45,073
- Input a refill prescription into the computer system – 29,792
- Resolve an insurance issue – 10,273
- Transfer a prescription OUT of the pharmacy – 4,118
- Transfer a prescription IN to the pharmacy – 10,213
- Take a call for a new medication – 13,391
- Contact a doctor’s office to change a medication – 6,769
- Physically fill and label a medication – 262,236
- Counsel a patient on an over-the-counter item – 8,557
- Recommend an alternative over-the-counter product base on the patients symptoms and needs – 2,882
- Administer an immunization – 14,140
- Contact a doctor’s office to clarify a prescription – 10,298
- Counsel a patient on nicotine/ smoking cessation – 177
- Counsel a patient on a prescription medication – 20,886
- Perform an intervention while counseling on a prescription drug before the patient left the pharmacy – 475
Thank you to all our pharmacy students, faculty and alumni and all other pharmacists. We appreciate the work you do for our health and for our community.
If you have questions related to your health, visit your local pharmacy and talk to your pharmacist. You will be surprised – a short conversation can make a big difference. To learn more about American Pharmacists Month, visit https://pharmacistsmonth.com/.
To find out the many ways in which pharmacists serve their communities through various professions, click here.
Rachael Thomas, MBA
Roseman University of Health Sciences
*2017 United States Census Bureau