DEERFIELD, Ill. — The evolving role of the pharmacist and the growing impact of pharmacist interventions on clinical outcomes were discussed Tuesday by Walgreens chief medical officer Cheryl Pegus at the 11th annual Population Health and Care Coordination Colloquium in Philadelphia.
“Walgreens is confident that as the role of the pharmacist continues to grow, our diverse team of 70,000 healthcare service providers will be able to seize a unique opportunity to help patients become healthier by reaching them at both the community pharmacy and worksite,” Pegus said.
The session, titled “Impact and Value of Pharmacist Interventions in Different Settings,” examined the effect that pharmacists are having on patients through face-to-face interactions at both community pharmacies and employer worksite health clinics. “Today, innovative patient management models, such as accountable care organizations, medical homes and e-health offerings, are being proposed to help address the steep challenge of combating chronic diseases in the United States, but face significant resource challenges to delivering care,” Pegus said.
“Extensive data has shown that face-to-face interactions between patients and a trusted pharmacist can drive significant increases in adherence to medication, ultimately reducing costs to the system and resulting in better outcomes for patients,” she added. “As these new models are implemented, the opportunity to more broadly utilize pharmacists as providers both in the community and in the worksite will play a key role in how successful they can be.”
Pegus highlighted the broader range of services that are offered by today’s practicing pharmacist beyond simply dispensing medication, including drug monitoring and identifying drug interactions, education and patient counseling, chronic care management, immunizations, medication therapy management, formulary management and such public health initiatives as smoking cessation and diabetes education.
She also discussed how data has shown that pharmacists add value by providing easier access and higher levels of interaction and engagement with patients relative to other providers.