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Pharmacy jobs

May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

by pharmacy on May 10, 2013

This May, we celebrate Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and with it we’d like to offer some tips and tricks to get your pharmacy and medical team members active in your communities. Raising awareness for these common and critical issues is more crucial than ever. May is also Celiac Awareness Month, which does indeed fall into the category of allergy awareness. Being vigilant about offering products, suggestions, and education to customers about asthma, treating asthma, living with a food allergy or environmental allergy, and how to raise awareness of these issues are just some way to give back to the area that your pharmacy is based in.

Events are a great way for pharmacies to network with other medical providers in the area, local television and radio outlets, and even students interested in the health and medical fields. Not only do these events offer potential press coverage for your pharmacy, but they open dialogue between professionals and customers living with asthma and a food allergy. Offering allergen free foods, a cooking demonstration on how to prevent cross contamination, or a book signing by an allergy-friendly cookbook author is another useful asset to any allergy and asthma awareness event held this May. Offering pulmonary screenings, an allergy checklist, or another type of survey can also be useful. Offering literature identifying common asthma triggers such as smoke or improper ventilation, or food allergens from exposure to gluten, soy, nuts, dairy, and shellfish can be helpful. Often, patients will not recognize symptoms of asthma or an allergy/food sensitivity, believing it to be common pollen allergies or an upset stomach. Press kits and further reading can be helpful in aiding customers in scheduling follow up appointments with their primary care physician if necessary.

Recruiting local sponsors to help with an allergy or asthma awareness event is also helpful. More and more local food vendors are cooking without gluten, and ship nationwide. Many grocers offer a gluten free food section, and there are ways of eating that eliminate soy, dairy, wheat, legumes, and more. Offering information into these eating plans, along with a grocery list or coupons from a local grocer or baker is a way to get the community involved. Having tables where gluten free or allergen aware chefs and bakers can market their goods is a wonderful first step toward raising awareness of not only celiac disease, but other common food allergies such as those to shellfish.

Finding businesses in your community to tell their story is key. Keeping connections local and making sure to have staff on hand to answer questions and field customer inquiries is important to the success of any event. How has your pharmacy addressed asthma and allergy awareness even when it is not May? What are some things that you have found helpful to draw customer’s attention to a healthier lifestyle or easier breathing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


A bill that aims to see pharmacists recognized as, “health care providers who have the authority to provide health services” is making its way through the California state legislature. This bill has potential to travel quickly through the senate, or it could end up frozen and hung up on technicalities. The bill shows a changing attitude towards the services that pharmacists provide, and with it allows for a more open dialog about what medical providers can or could expect from a pharmacist listed as a medical provider in their facility.

The bill would allow California pharmacists to dispense smoking cessation drugs, train others about drug therapy, participate in reviews of patient milestones and have access to medical reports to offer suggestions or alternatives, furnish contraceptives, and more. Having pharmacists able to complete these tasks will free up valuable time and resources in hospitals, primary care clinics, and other health care settings. It would be a boon to the public by allowing pharmacists to perform physical exams, offer patients referrals to other healthcare providers, adjust and begin drug therapies, and more.

There is a vast shortage of health care providers in California, and this bill would enable many pharmacists to fill a much needed role for medical providers in the state. This will allow pharmacists to have the designation of “Advanced Practice Pharmacist,” and enable them to perform the basic health care assessments and services listed above. This designation is currently available for pursuit by pharmacists in the state of California, offering this advanced designation to over 40,000 pharmacists. Allowing pharmacies and pharmacists to offer their services in a variety of settings, and expanding the services which they can provide is a crucial step in easing the burden on an already overtaxed medical care provider system in California.

Pharmacists in California will be allowed to expand their services provided, allowing for basic services to be rendered by the pharmacists on staff instead of a primary care physician or another member of a medical team. Creating more health care providers is key, as California’s medical care options are set to change drastically when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014. California’s state level health care assistance program, Med-Cal, will not currently allow coverage for pharmacist rendered services under its current Medicaid program.

Changing the landscape of services that pharmacists can offer is just one goal that this bill hopes to accomplish. With the Affordable Care Act going into place, and more medical providers being open to expanding their practices to include pharmacists in a larger role in everyday tasks, the way that the public views their local pharmacist is set to change. If this bill moves through the senate, the ability of pharmacists and pharmacies to better serve their community and their state.

How has your pharmacy expanded or modified roles of your team to meet the needs of your community in a changing healthcare world? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Pharmacists in the Primary Care Setting?

by pharmacy on April 17, 2013

Many pharmacists are finding employment in an uncommon setting in 2013—primary care facilities. This care model enables pharmacists to focus on patient care. Pharmacists that work in this type of facility offer medication information, health and wellness screenings such as diabetes screening, and more. Pharmacists that opt to take these positions save patients time and possibly expensive hospital trips, as well as saving hospitals valuable time and resources.

Offsetting costs and increasing overall customer satisfaction are vital to any successful primary care setting. Pharmacists can integrate their services into a primary care office with a little time and effort. May primary care areas are open to funding trial projects if their budget has the funds available. Stressing the overall customer satisfaction rate, the amount of time saved by a clinic that has a pharmacist on staff, and other benefits, such as reducing overall medication costs, are crucial to finding a place in a primary care setting.

Pharmacists can offer patients significant health benefits when added to a PCP team. Patients with diabetes, hypertension, or another commonly treated condition can benefit greatly from having a pharmacist available to discuss issues with. Adding a pharmacist to a PCP team ensures that patients have access to someone that has extensive knowledge of medication regimes that can often be complicated and exhausting to remember. Pharmacists can streamline programs and offer suggestions to help clients manage their conditions easily, while preventing medication abuse and following up on patient adherence to treatment plans.

Often, new pharmacists can complete some of their educational training on site at a primary care clinic. This gives the pharmacists experience in working with clients, managing a variety of cases, and managing prescribed medications. Refilling and suggesting scripts, aiding with financials, modifying treatment plans, and helping patients to understand and control their chronic conditions are just some of the things that a pharmacist can learn while a team member at a primary care office.

Pharmacists can conduct vaccine clinics throughout the year to help patients prevent common illnesses. Implementing an influenza clinic or Gardasil vaccination for young adults are just a few examples of the sort of public service that a pharmacist could add at their primary care location. The landscape for pharmacists is changing as the requirements to obtain licensing become stricter. Pharmacists have to complete clinic hours, and often can opt to do so in the primary care setting. Clinics often serve under represented populations, so working at a mobile health clinic or an urban primary care facility is a great way for a hopeful pharmacist to gain valuable experience about serving at risk groupings.

Pharmacists can weigh the benefits of working in a traditional pharmacy over working directly with patients. Overall, the choices are varied. When it comes to patient care, working in the primary care setting offers a hands-on experience that some larger traditional pharmacies may not be able to deliver. How have you navigated the changing times for pharmacists in the primary care setting? Share your story in the comments below.


What Your Pharmacy Needs to Know about FluBlok, the First Recombinant Flu Vaccine

On Wednesday January 30th, 2013, the FDA approved its first recombinant flu vaccine for use in medical settings. This vaccine, known as FluBlok, is the first of its kind in the United States. What makes FluBlok unique is that it contains recombinant viral proteins, instead of antigens derived from live influenza virus. It will be available for the remainder of the flu season, and pharmacies should expect to see patients being prescribed it. FluBlok is an intramuscular injection, and arrives in vials of 10. The vaccine is both light and temperature sensitive, thus it should be stored properly within any pharmacy. FluBlok is not currently available for children or the elderly, and is currently only approved for adults ages 18-49. [click to continue…]


This year’s Health Datapalooza will be held on June 5-6, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The event will feature exciting new products, services, applications, and features based on open source health data. Entrepreneurs across the country are submitting their innovations to be judged by panels comprised of health care professionals, community leaders, and consumers. The best inventions will be showcased during the event. It’s an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs and a great way for pharmacists to stay on top of the next big thing in the healthcare data industry. [click to continue…]

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OTC Morning After Pill mired in ongoing controversy

by pharmacy on January 24, 2012

Amid a storm of controversy swirling around hot button political issues like abortion, personhood, birth control, and sex education in schools, RU486 – a contraceptive sold as Plan B One-Step, Ella, and Next Choice – was an understandable target. [click to continue…]


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