The Expanding Role of Local Pharmacies

According to experts, there is a large—and growing—shortage of physicians in the United States. A recent article for Drug Topics explores how pharmacists could help to fill this gap in primary care.

Author Karen Berger suggests that community pharmacists could partner with physicians to offer care management and follow-ups, bringing more clinical services into the pharmacy sphere. She examines the case of a local pharmacy in Longmont, Colorado, who did just this. Here are the strategies they tried out:

  • Applied for a Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF) grant, which funds community pharmacies seeking to advance their practice and patient care delivery
  • Started spending one day a week working in a local physician’s office, offering wellness visits, physical exams, and chronic care management
  • Examined patient records prior to exams to determine any needs for labs, exams, and/or medications.
  • Evaluated risk status, living conditions, and transportation situation.

The presence of the pharmacists in the office allowed physicians to see more patients in a day than before. For more details, read the article in full at Drug Topics.