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Doctor of Pharmacy Association, non profit professional organisation is reaching out to health care providers and policy makers to bring awareness about the benefits of recognizing pharmacists and facilitate their access to patient care services.

Following the Union government’s efforts on the anvil to expand the healthcare delivery formats to include the pharmacists to interface with the doctors in the drug therapy compliances in patient care, the Association is of the view that recognizing pharmacists in the healthcare sector will help change the face of pharmacists.

Currently, pharmacists are an underutilised resource in our healthcare system. If pharmacists services are utilised then it will allow them to work collaboratively with physicians to optimise medication therapy in patients and deliver patient-centred care, Dr Katam Sai Kumar, national president, Doctor of Pharmacy Association told Pharmabiz in an email.

“Let pharmacists take on a larger role in medication management. We believe that pharmacists are uniquely positioned to help meet the objective of providing convenient, expanded access to medical care and controlling costs,” he added.

The total number and cost of medications dispensed in India is rising rapidly. Medications are a critical component to increase the wellbeing and longevity of an aging population. However it can create serious and costly problems when managed improperly. In this regard, a number of developed countries have launched medication review or adherence programmes as part of a wider trend towards expanding the pharmacists’ role in pharmaceutical care. In India, regulators, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers should be prepared to help the evolution of medication therapy management (MTM). The MTM model is currently being practiced in developed nations like the US, said Dr Kumar.

The benefits of MTM are that it optimizes therapeutic outcomes by counseling patients on medication use and adherence. Consultant pharmacists provide recommendations to patients, their prescribers and caregivers through a review of patients’ drug regimens, and in-service educational programmes. Further MTM is an essential tool to reduce medication-related problems among populations with many chronic illnesses mainly in the elderly category.

To achieve MTM, the government must revise the old and outdated acts and strictly implement current Acts: Pharmacy Practice Regulation 2015, Drugs & Cosmetics Act-1940 and Rules 1945 & Pharmacy Act 1948, he said.

Strong working relationships between pharmacists and physicians are needed to optimise patient care. MTM would open new avenues for pharmacists. In an evolving healthcare delivery format, pharmacists can be responsible to monitor and adjust dosage regimens in collaboration with physicians for optimal therapeutic outcomes and minimising drug related problems, said Dr Kumar.
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