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WASHINGTON — The message in October is "Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine" as the American Pharmacists Association launches its annual American Pharmacists Month.
The APhA said the messaging for the month is based on "one essential fact" seen in pharmacies, clinics and other care sites: The more patients know their pharmacist, the more they will know about their medications, the documented successes and cautionary tales, the risks and benefits and potential side effects and contraindications of medications. Patients, the APhA said, should choose their pharmacists as carefully as they choose their doctors.
The organization said that while Americans spend billions on medications every year, the most expensive medications are the ones that don't work properly or cause harm due to misuse. Failure to take medications as prescribed causes more than 1.5 million medication-related adverse events, and costs the healthcare system about $290 billion each year, the group said. But when patients know their pharmacist and feel comfortable seeking their advice, the likelihood of medication errors decreases.
The APhA is also highlighting the services pharmacists can provide, such as annual medication checkups, prescription medication education, advice on OTC drugs, assistance filling out a personal medication record, adherence reminders, immunizations, diabetes care guidance and more.