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Pharmacy news

A situation like the one that occurred at the Boston Marathon can happen anywhere. Being prepared to handle a crisis or emergency situation is crucial to providing care and services to those injured in a bombing, natural disaster, or other scenario where a high rate of injury has occurred. Keeping staff trained and informed on what to do in the event of a crisis is just one way that a pharmacy can ensure that its staff acts with precision and decorum in a crisis situation. [click to continue…]

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Taking an over the counter pain reliever can also treat anxiety over fear of death and the unknown after we pass on. Pain extends far beyond the physical, transcending a scope of mental, emotional, and psychological needs to be met and addressed. Research has lead a team of scientists to believe that acetaminophen can have a positive effect on things such as existential dread, fear of death, or anxiety over an illness. Being careful to address the needs of clients in trying times such as facing the death of a family member, their own mortality, or the suffering of a loved one is important. [click to continue…]

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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.

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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.

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April is Autism Awareness Month

by pharmacy on April 10, 2013

 Autism affects 1 out of every 88 children in the United States alone. The condition is known to affect five times more males than females, and its symptoms range from mild to severe. While some children can function on a daily basis and do so with quirks and odd habits, others are entirely nonverbal and their behavior patterns can change drastically from moment to moment. Pharmacies can offer support to families and youth alike by taking steps to provide adequate social and medical care in their facilities.

 

Often, pharmacies will be the last stop in what is often a busy schedule. Families do more in less than time than ever. Autistic youth and adults may have extensive—and expensive—behavioral and psychological assessments or evaluations. These coupled with the cost of a possible prescription drug treatment can be a hardship for families. Offering generic prescriptions where available in a patient’s medication regime can help offset a financial burden. Treating children with autism can cost a family up to $3 million dollars over their lifetime. Oftentimes, families will have to pay for occupational, behavioral, and psychiatric therapies out of pocket if their insurance program does not cover the costs for autism therapies. Helping clients manage prescription costs by verifying scripts are accurate and substituting generics where able are just some of the ways that a pharmacy can help its customers trying to manage their autism or aid a family member with the condition.

 

Another way that pharmacies can aid their customers and families with an autistic family member is to connect with support services in the area. Many autism acceptance social groups, playgroups for young children, and informative meetings for parents are available around the United States. Pharmacies can supply a list of autism support groups or resources available for their county by conducting a simple web search, or visiting Autism Key  to find an organization in their area. Finding support and knowing that one is not alone is a vital tool that can make sure that those living with autism, their parents, and families are able to receive the care and support from their local community that they need.

 

Fostering a relationship with a local autism charity to raise funds for autism awareness is another way that pharmacies may be able to raise awareness and support a good cause. The Dan Marino Foundation and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network are just two of the charities that are causes seeking to better the lives of those with autism and the people who love them.

 

There are numerous ways that your local pharmacy can both support and raise awareness for autism during the month of April, and this list names only a few—be creative and respectful in your efforts. Speaking for the population with autism is never the goal. Offering to help them share their personal stories and enabling your clients to lead a healthier and happier life, is. What are some tools that your team has implemented to raise autism awareness during April? Share with us in the comments below.

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Bill Gates, Billionaire, Philanthropist

by pharmacy on February 1, 2012

Bill Gates is the second richest man on the planet. According to Forbes Magazine, his $56 billion fortune is eclipsed only be the $63 billion amassed by Mexican investor Carlos Slim Helu. Gates’ face, his name, and his brand are recognized the world over.

What most of the world doesn’t know is that he would be on top of the wealthiest list if he stopped giving so much away, mostly in the form of vaccines. He spends billions in the effort to eradicate disease by distributing vaccines to fight measles, hepatitis B, rotavirus, AIDS, and others . [click to continue…]

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