Pharmacists are an important part of everyone’s healthcare team, whether you take multiple prescription medications or simply need an occasional over-the-counter medication. In fact, for patients who take daily prescription medications, a community pharmacist typically sees each patient much more frequently than their primary care physician.

At MaxCare, we’ve long been champions of community pharmacies and the personalized service they provide to patients, and we also know firsthand the other roles that pharmacists fill to ensure quality patient care. Here are a few of the key ways pharmacists contribute to your health.

Ensuring patient safety in distribution and use of medications

A physician prescribes medication to a patient, but the pharmacist is responsible for distributing that medication and ensuring the patient understands how to use it. That includes checking the dosage and quantity, plus ensuring any necessary warning labels are included on the bottle.

The pharmacist will also check for any interactions with other medications the patient is currently taking, so be sure to keep your pharmacist updated on any prescriptions you may have filled elsewhere or any over-the-counter medications you take. If you have questions about how to take a specific medication, ask your pharmacist to explain the dosing instructions.

Helping patients achieve optimal outcomes with medication

Your pharmacist knows how often you take your medication based on how frequently you refill it. If you request a refill too early, that may indicate you’re taking too much of your medication. If you don’t request a refill regularly, that can indicate that you’re not taking your medication as prescribed, which could impact your health.

If either of those situations occur, your pharmacist may reach out to you to ensure you understand how to take your medications and see if there’s a specific reason you aren’t taking it as prescribed. They can then work with you and your doctor to adjust the dosage or change medications if needed to ensure optimal outcomes.

Developing programs that help patients manage complex therapies

Not all pharmacists work in roles that involve directly dispensing medications to patients. Some work in research environments, while others work with insurance companies, pharmacy benefits managers like MaxCare, and other companies who want to ensure the best possible care for patients while also being aware of prescription costs. Such is the case for our Clinical Services team at MaxCare, which focuses on creating programs that help both improve patient outcomes and keep costs down for self-insured companies, particularly when it comes to specialty medications.

As the overall healthcare landscape continues to change in the United States, the role of pharmacists continues to evolve as well. During American Pharmacists Month and every month of the year, MaxCare recognizes the many ways that pharmacists contribute to patient health.