Pebble Beach, CA Pharmacists Playing A Bigger Role In Health Careby Richard Kuehn on 06/26/12
Many pharmacists are now playing a bigger role in our health care due in part to the fact that reimbursement rates from Medicare, Medi-Cal and private insurance companies are being reduced, and doctors simply don't have the time to spend with you that they used to. Most do drug counseling and check for potential drug interactions, and some are now calling patients who don't call in refills to ask them if they have forgotten to refill it. That's a great thing, because studies have shown than only 25-30% of medications are taken properly, and only 15-20% are refilled as prescribed. Sadly, this is in part due to the poor economy which has left some patients unable to afford the refills. But some patients will open up if prodded and tell the pharmacists about unexpected side effects that may call for a different drug. Some pharmacists will actually call the doctor (with your permission) to discuss recommended medications that may have been overlooked and ask the doctor to prescribe them. Although pharmacists can't prescribe drugs themselves, they see enough prescriptions to notice when something might be amiss. That's why I like going to mom & pop pharmacies locally like A&O, Carmel Drug Store, Ordway, Raleys and Romie Lane Pharmacy. They normally have pharmacists who can take the time to sit down and explain important information. Not all of the big chains can do this. It's a particularly important issue for seniors, who need patience and understanding from the pharmacist.