Pharmacists: Trusted Professionals On the Frontlines of Patient Care

Drug Topics JournalDrug Topics February 2020
Volume 164
Issue 2


Once again, national survey results recently released by Gallup have placed pharmacists as one of the most trusted professions, surpassed only by nurses, engineers, and medical doctors. This is not surprising; patients continually turn to pharmacists for advice and rely on their accessibility. The consistency of this ranking, which places the profession in the top 5 spots for the most highly rated for honesty and ethics, underscores the value that you bring to the patients that come through your pharmacy. Whether it’s offering a recommendation about an OTC product or ensuring that a patient remains adherent to a complex medication regimen, the expertise you offer has a ripple effect on optimizing outcomes. 

In this issue’s cover story, Tzipora Lieder, RPh discusses managing high-risk patients with comorbidities. As Lieder notes, “Community pharmacists are ideally placed to manage these patients in a way that can positively impact their health outcomes.” In this article, you’ll find effective strategies for doing so, including the use of med sync, collaborative care, and best practices to get paid for the important services you provide.

As winter trudges on, more and more patients are likely seeking relief from cold-related symptoms. A column in this issue offers a guide to best practices for recommending OTC cold medications. Pharmacists often have an arsenal of “go-to” drugs they recommend, but by performing your own detective work, you can help patients refine their options and choose the most appropriate medication for their symptoms.

This issue also features an article focusing on the pivotal role that pharmacists play in a diabetes care team. The article discusses how hospital pharmacists can guide treatment decisions and help contain costs for patients. Not only that, but they can also work collaboratively with pharmacists in other settings–acting as a bridge to those in the community and ambulatory systems to assist in “warm handoff” transitions of care.

Despite an upswing in the number of pharmacists from minority backgrounds in the field, the overall numbers are still low. In a series of interviews in this issue, pharmacists from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups discuss ways that diversity can be improved throughout the industry. You will also find an overview of managing patients with inflammatory bowel disease, tips for becoming a better pharmacy manager, and a look at oncology pain management. Thank you for reading and continue to follow us on for more insights.

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