Pharmacist care for patients has grown, study finds

Manhattan Research surveys 752 pharmacists

NEW YORK — About two-fifths of pharmacists say they spend more time providing care and support for patients than they did two years ago, according to a new study from a market research and advisory firm.

Manhattan Research released the results of its "Taking the Pulse Pharmacists 2012" study, which surveyed 752 U.S. pharmacists online in September and October about their use of various channels and sources, including digital content and mobile devices for professional purposes and patient care.

"Pharmacists are stepping outside their traditional roles and are increasingly providing patient care services supplemented by the vast array of digital information and tools at their disposal," Manhattan Research principal analyst Shawn Dimantha said. "As primary care providers struggle to meet patient demand, pharmacists will play a growing role as an alternative point of care."

The top disease states for which retail pharmacists provided the most care and support were diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, pain, respiratory diseases, and psychosis and depression, according to the study, which also found that pharmacists would like drug companies to provide them with online access to resources to help them support patients. For example, more than three-quarters of pharmacists would like access to online patient education materials, while 64% of retail pharmacists would like patient assistance or vouchers.

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