Practical Issues for Pharmacists
With the ever-increasing cost of oncology drugs as well as patient copays, a new role was created to help patients manage their financial needs at the Southwest Cancer Center, in cooperation with the Central Pharmacy, University Medical Center, Lubbock, Texas, the county’s and Texas Tech University’s primary teaching hospital.
Every physician has a preferred way of writing prescription instructions, and pharmacists differ in how they translate those instructions to the pill bottle. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Wolf and associates found that the lack of a universal medication schedule (UMS) to standardize how prescriptions are written and filled contributes to poor patient adherence and increases safety concerns. Elderly patients or those with low health literacy are more prone to confusion when trying to follow a multidrug regimen.
Pharmacists can make a significant contribution to an overseas medical mission. In fact, the participation of a pharmacist on a recent mission to rural Kenya led by a California-based hospital proved to be so invaluable that all future missions to that region plan to have a pharmacist onboard.
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