The practice of pharmacy has evolved from a historical emphasis on the preparation and distribution of drug products to new activities and responsibilities that focus on the rational, safe and cost-effective use of drugs. Just as it is generally assumed that physicians are primarily involved in providing medical care and nurses in providing nursing care, pharmacists are the primary providers of pharmaceutical care. The mission of the pharmacy profession, therefore, is to meet the pharmaceutical care needs of the public.
Pharmaceutical care is patient-centered, outcome-oriented, contemporary pharmacy practice that requires the pharmacist to work in concert with the patient and the patient's healthcare providers to promote health, to prevent disease, and to assess, monitor, initiate, and modify medication use so that pharmacotherapy is safe and effective.
The provision of pharmaceutical care to patients requires an understanding of the chemistry of drug entities, the delivery characteristics of dosage formulations, the disposition of drugs within the body, the physiologic and pharmacologic outcome of drug interactions with the human body, and the social systems in which medications are being used.
As a pharmacist, you will be able to care for your patients in many important ways, including:
- Planning and implementing effective drug therapy
- Monitoring and evaluating drug therapy to identify and solve patient-specific drug therapy problems
- Evaluating clinical literature
- Selecting the proper dosage form, dose and dosing schedule for a particular patient
- Educating and counseling patients