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Main roles for pharmacists

Main roles for pharmacists
The followings are the four main roles in the GPP guidelines, where pharmacists’ involvement or supervision is expected by society and the individuals they serve.
They are : First, prepare, obtain, store, secure, distribute, administer, dispense and dispose of medical products. The second is provide effective medication therapy management. The third is maintain and improve professional performance. The fourth is contribute to improve effectiveness of the health-care system and public health. These roles may vary for each individual pharmacist depending on their practice responsibilities. Let’s go to see more details! The role one covers many pharmacy practice areas includes prepare, obtain, store, secure, distribute, administer, dispense and dispose of medical products. So, there are five related functions in role one. Function A describes Prepare extemporaneous medicine preparations and medical products.
Pharmacists should ensure that medicine preparation areas are appropriately designed for extemporaneous preparations and are maintained in a manner that minimizes the potential for medication errors and assures the cleanliness and safety of medical products. Pharmacists should ensure that compounded medicines are consistently prepared to comply with written formulas and quality standards for raw materials, equipment and preparation processes, including sterility and where are appropriate.
Function B describes obtain, store and secure medicine preparations and medical products. Pharmacists who are responsible for procurement should ensure that the procurement process is transparent, professional and ethical so as to promote equity and access and to ensure accountability to relevant governing and legal entities. And should ensure that procurement is supported by strong quality assurance principles to assure that substandard, adulterated, unlicensed and counterfeit medicines are not procured. To ensure that procurement is supported by a reliable information system which provides accurate, timely and accessible information. Pharmacists should establish contingency plans for shortages of medicines and for purchases in emergencies. To assure that proper storage conditions are provided for all medicines used in the pharmacy or health-care facility.
Function C describes distribute medicine preparations and medical products- pharmacists should ensure that all medical products, including medicine samples, are handled and distributed in a manner that assures reliability and safety of the medicine supply. Pharmacists should establish an effective distribution system which includes a written procedure, to recall promptly and effectively medical products, with a designated person responsible for recalls.
Pharmacists should develop with manufacturers, wholesalers and government agencies an access plan for uninterrupted supply of essential medicines as part of a disaster or pandemic preparedness strategy. Pharmacists have a responsibility to be aware of the safety issues of medicines and to institute necessary mechanisms for monitoring occurrence of adverse events. Function D describe administration of medicines, vaccines and other injectable medicines. Pharmacists should have a role in the preparation and administration of medicines, in establishing procedures in their work settings with respect to the administration, and in monitoring the outcomes of medication administration. Pharmacists should have an educator, facilitator and immunizer role, thus contributing to the prevention of diseases through participation in vaccination programmes, by ensuring vaccination coverage and by also ensuring vaccine safety.
Pharmacists should participate in directly observed therapy (DOT) programmes in areas such as the management of drug addiction, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases, where applicable. Function E describes dispensing of medical products- Pharmacists should ensure that appropriate facilities, trained personnel, standard dispensing practice and document procedures are in place in the pharmacy for the supply and dispensing of prescribed medicine and other health-care products. Pharmacists should assess and evaluate all paper or electronic prescriptions received, considering the therapeutic, social, economic and legal aspect of the prescribed indications before supplying medical products to the patient. Where possible, generic substitution is recommended.
Pharmacists should ensure patient confidentiality at the point of dispensing medical products and should provide advice to ensure that the patient receives and understands sufficient written and oral information to derive maximum benefit for the treatment. Function F describes the dispose of medicine preparations and medical products- Pharmacists should ensure that regular monitoring of the medicines inventory is conducted in the process of periodic inspect or the expiration dates and removal of outdated stock. - Pharmacists should ensure that recalled medical products are immediately stored separately for subsequent disposal and prevented from being available for further dispensing or distribution.
Pharmacists should establish a safe way of medicines waste disposal at the hospital and or community pharmacy so that patients and the public can be encouraged to return their expired or unwanted medicines and medical devices. Alternatively, pharmacists should provide appropriate information to patients on how to safely dispose of expired or unwanted medicines.
Let’s move to Role 2: Provide effective medication therapy management. There are four functions in role 2. Function A describes assess patient health status
and needs that: Pharmacists should ensure not only medication therapy, but also health management, in disease prevention and healthy lifestyle behavior are incorporated into the patient assessment and care process. - Pharmacists should acknowledge unique patient considerations such as education level, cultural beliefs, literacy, native language and physical and mental capacity in all individual patient assessments. Function B is managing patient medication therapy. Pharmacists should maintain access to an appropriate evidence base relating to the safe, rational cost-effective use of medicines such as reference books on medicines, journals, national essential medicines lists and standard treatment guidelines. Pharmacists should ensure that medicine formulary are linked to standard treatment guidelines, protocols and treatment pathways based on the best available evidence.
Pharmacists should have a key role in educating prescribers on the access to and evidence for optimal and appropriate use of medicines including the required monitoring parameters and prescribing adjustments. Where appropriate, pharmacists should provide advice or recommendations to the prescriber on medicine therapy, including the selection of the appropriate medication or dosage. Pharmacists should have access to, contribute to and use all necessary clinical and patient data to coordinate effective medication therapy management, especially when multiple health-care practitioners are involved in the patient’s medical therapy, and the intervene if necessary. - Pharmacists should establish a standard operating procedure for referrals to physician, specialists or other health-care provider, where appropriate.
Pharmacists should provide continuity of care by transferring information on patients’ medicines as patients move forward sector of care. Function C describes monitor patient progress and outcomes - Pharmacists should consider patient diagnosis and patient-specific needs when assessing patient response to medicine thereby and intervene if necessary. - Pharmacists should document necessary clinical and patient data to assess and monitor medication therapy and track patients’ therapeutic outcomes. - when needed, Pharmacists should perform point-of-care testing for patients in order to monitor and adjust therapy. For example, INR, blood sugar and blood pressure
Function D describes provide information about medicines and health-related issues - Pharmacists should ensure that in every pharmacy there is a suitable place for discussing confidential information with the customers and patients. - Pharmacists should provide sufficient health, disease and medicine specific information to patients for their participation in their decision-making process regarding a comprehensive care management plan. This information should aim at supporting adherence to treatment and empowerment of the patient. - Pharmacists should be proactive in reducing antimicrobial resistance by providing information about the appropriate use of antibiotics to consumers and prescribers.

There are 4 main roles for pharmacists, basic pharmacy administration and dispensing, medication therapy management, professionalism, public health promotion.

In this and the following videos, Director Chang will explain in detail how these roles functioning in the healthcare ecosystem. First, he will talk about the first and the second roles: basic pharmacy administration and dispensing and therapy mangement.

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Essentials of Good Pharmacy Practice: The Basics

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