Medicine: “Importance of Pharmacists in Health Promotion”
Why is pharmacy considered the noblest profession compared to all ancient professions? Why is a pharmacist treated as a sacred healer or a magician having powers to heal or called as “Apothecary” in old traditions? How does Pharmacy deal with the basics of healthcare system? Why is it so important?
Because pharmacy and pharmacist is crucial for any healthcare system that may exist in the world. It is the most essential pillar of the field of medicine without which no better health practice can be done. When it is said that pharmacy is an art and science of making medicines or pharmacist is the person who is an artist, it looks contradictory but when it comes to practicality, it’s proven that pharmacist is THE MAGICIAN and blessing for the healthcare system, he is the drug expert who work only for the betterment of patient no matter what, who looks after every aspect, to treat the patient best and no one can neglect the importance of Pharmacist for health promotion, who is always there for making chance live a better and healthy life..
Now the question arises how pharmacist can play an important role or what does he do exactly for betterment and promotion of health?
In general, pharmacists affect the patient care from first stage of the cycle i.e. from delivering the prime care by confronting all the obstacles during patient therapy management till the end of the cycle until patient is discharged and even after that too (in case of counselling and post-checkups). It mostly involves medicine check for chronic diseases which require ultimate care and right judgment for safe use of medicines, cost effectiveness and patients’ compliance with therapeutic regimen.
Most of the times pharmacists’ role is overlooked while handling all these activities. They perform assessment and review of prescribed medications plan in the light of patient’s history. Also resolve all the drug related problem either the self-medications issues, drug-drug interactions etc., optimize best therapy plan, design compliance schedules for the sake and benefit of patient. Pharmacist serve as a fundamental part of the health care team. Their role is vast, being the most accessible qualified health care who provides guidance either in medical homes or a community setup. A pharmacist is always there in 80% of the cases who deals with the emergencies in hospital. He plays the key role to serve the potentially and promote health.
The input of pharmacist in promotion of health care is based upon knowledge and expertise gained by the formal education as well as the professional experience. Majority measures include the safe and effective use of medications and procedures about it to promote and sustain healthcare scenario in the society.
In the field of health promotion pharmacist plays equally important role by participating in campaigns, awareness programs locally as well as internationally on different aspects of health covering wide range of topics either drug related or personal healthcare for e.g. rational use of OTC drugs, smoking cessation, diabetes awareness, alcohol use, poison prevention and control, effects of drug abuse, adverse drug use impact on pregnancy, HIV/AIDS spread, Diarrhea, tuberculosis, Hepatitis control, family planning methods etc. They’re also involved in educational programs for local communities for disease prevention or immunization against malaria, dengue, or polio vaccination campaigns and/or blind & deaf training programs. This helps to prevent the spread of contagious disease to decrease frequency of dangerous diseases and mortality. It is also proven that control or elimination of the risk agents causing life-threatening infections like Cancer, stroke, hemorrhage, hypertension or any cardiac disease. They also deal with the agricultural and veterinary services. They also serve for counselling to help patients with mental problems. Or they can also provide guidance about traditional or alternative use of medicines. Whatever the case it, Pharmacist always help people to maintain their well-being and live a healthy life.
The key classification work domains for pharmacist promotion of health are:
- Specialists for different scientific areas
- Industrial, pharmaceutical technology
- Teaching and Academics
- Administrative and Management of pharmacy services
Recently, the trend of realizing role of pharmacist is being increased mainly as the health promotion is being identified as one of the five basic roles of a pharmacist according to Royal Pharmaceutical society of Great Britain. Apart from that pharmacist not is only involved in providing the better healthcare but also have part in health improvement and promotion activities. This role has been grown by new contract (2005) in England, Wales and Scotland which frames the role of public health service pharmacist. These services involve advice seeking for healthy lifestyle, self-care, what to do when run out of prescription? Whether we should go to a doctor or not? Also including awareness campaigns about diabetes care, OTC medications, smoking cessation, sexual health etc. Undoubtedly this is a fine clear framework that how pharmacist plays his role in a very unique way.
The ultimate goal of a pharmacist is the patients’ well-being in all healthcare facets either behind the scenes or in front of the public at times. Whatever the scenario is as the medication expert, their responsibilities is to educate not only patients but also other healthcare professionals like physicians, nurses, paramedics to ensure safe therapy decisions not only in hospital setting but also in community. They also assure the right composition, purity and strength of drugs including their biological and physical properties to save the harm caused by interaction. Professionally they’re committed to achieve best outcomes for patients’ wellness in order to improve quality of life with minimum risk. The aim of pharmacists is to find the Treatment and cure of diseases, Mitigation and relief from symptoms in chronic conditions and prevention of disease.
In short we can say:
“Pharmacists are those unique professionals who are only committed to public service better patient outcomes to promote health.”
Maryam Siddique (Pharmacist)