Clinical Pharmacists are an integral member of your care team.
Behind every successful medical story is a Clinical Pharmacist working alongside your Primary Care physician or specialist. For many people, a pharmacist is that person in the white coat behind the counter at the drugstore, counting pills. Dispensing medications is a role pharmacists may perform, but the scope of their contribution to a patient’s healthcare goes much farther.
When did Pharmacy become a profession?
Before we dig into defining Clinical Pharmacy, we should take a brief history lesson. Did you know that as far back as 1,500 BC, during the reign of the ancient Egyptians. Paleontologists specializing in Paleopharmacology discovered sheets of papyrus (more than 1,000 sheets!) that cataloged hundreds of recipes for medications derived from plants. Throughout the centuries, Apothecaries and Chemists (as they were once called) worked beside healers and priests to care for the sick. Chemists’ roles were instrumental in the treatment of afflicted individuals.
Fast forward to the late 1,800s and early 1,900s to the industrial revolution. The increased technical sophistication opened the doors to developing processes to purify natural materials and began synthesizing organic chemicals. Insulin and Penicillin were also discovered.
Today there are countless types of pharmacists found in drug manufacturing and research, and in direct patient care. Additionally, pharmacists can specialize in 13 of board certified specialty fields like:
- Ambulatory care
- Compounded sterile preparations
- Critical care
- Infectious diseases
- Nutrition support
- And Solid organ transplant
Clinical Pharmacy at think
Clinical Pharmacists hold doctorate degrees in pharmacology and oftentimes specialize in medical areas they have interest in. Think enlists the expertise of Clinical Pharmacists to help our physicians, specialists and advanced practice providers manage your medications to yield the best outcomes possible.
Think’s Clinical Pharmacists provide an invaluable service to our patients such as:
Clinical Pharmacists work with not only your Primary Care physician, but your specialist and other providers to make sure your medications are the best options for your specific circumstance. They are the experts on each medication’s active ingredients and know which are the appropriate treatment approaches.
Timing of taking medications
Did you know that some medications work best at different times of the day? For instance atorvastatin (cholesterol medication) works best in the evening when the cholesterol-making enzymes in your body are more active. Your Clinical Pharmacist works with you and your doctors to maximize the effectiveness of your prescription drugs.
One of the benefits of using our Clinical Pharmacists is knowing you are taking the best option for your particular case. Our pharmacists make it a point to be up-to-date on the newest drugs and understand their interactions. In addition, they can recommend alternative medication treatment paths if you are not getting the results you and your doctor expect.
You may be a person with more than one health issue that requires medications. Taking multiple medications can pose certain risks if the medications don’t interact well with one another. Our Clinical Pharmacists understand medication interactions and can help you avoid adverse medication interactions. They may also be able to help consolidate the number of medications you take by finding drugs that may treat multiple conditions.
Ensuring cost savings
Medications are expensive. Even with insurance, some patients’ medications make up a big portion of their monthly expenses. Think Clinical Pharmacists will work with your doctor, insurance company and retail pharmacy, to get the lowest prices for your medications. Oftentimes, it may be prescribing a different brand medication or taking three 100mg pills vs. one 300mg pill.
Some patients need more support than others. Patients with uncontrolled Diabetes, or have multiple health conditions may need frequent contact with a healthcare professional. Our Clinical Pharmacists work directly with your physician to ensure continuity of care and can provide recommendations on medication adjustments. In the case of uncontrolled Diabetes, a patient may have a team of healthcare professionals helping the patient stabilize their blood sugar levels. This team may include Physicians, Clinical Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, Care Coordinators, Diabetic Educators and Dietitians, and Social Workers. Your care team collaborates and designs a treatment plan that will help get you back on track as quickly as possible.