Pharmaceutical care should have key role in healthcare planning system: Pharm D interns

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Like medical care and nursing care, the concept of pharmaceutical care should have a predominant role in the healthcare planning system as it is a part of the drug therapy assessment, opined a group of Pharm D interns of the Raghavendra Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (RIPER), Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh.

According to them this concept has originated in 1990 with the establishment of International Pharmaceutical Federation and it is known in USA as medication therapy management and in Australia as drug action plan. The students have made a research study on the emerging concept of pharmaceutical care.

“This concept has opened new ways for pharmacists to establish their presence and prove their mettle in the healthcare team. Further it has made a space for the pharmacists to get involved in taking a better clinical decision by giving better treatment options to the physicians in order to deliver better treatment outcome,” said SKR Sowmya, a Pharm D intern.

Their study reveals that pharmaceutical care planning is a systematic, comprehensive process with three primary functions such as identifying the patient's actual and potential drug-related problems, resolving the problems and prevent the problems. It involves a stepwise approach in assessing the drug therapy given to the patient and pharmaceutical related problems emerging out of it. It is the responsible provision of drug therapy for the purpose of achieving definite outcomes that improve a patient’s quality of life. The pharmacist is responsible for achieving the desired outcomes at all levels of pharmaceutical care.

According to another intern, A Srinath, the concept of pharmaceutical care extends itself to other aspects of pharmacy practice including traditional and clinical pharmacy. It has its own uniqueness over clinical pharmacy, patient counselling and pharmaceutical services.

A standardized method for the provision of pharmaceutical care includes collecting and organizing patient-specific information, determining the presence of medication-therapy problems, summarizing patient’s health care needs, specifying pharmaco-therapeutic goals, design and develop a pharmaco-therapeutic regimen, develop a monitoring plan in collaboration with the patient and other health professionals, documentation of pharmaceutical care... etc.

The view point of N Sreelalitha, a Pharm D intern, who also associated in the study, is that the focused areas of practice where the pharmacists are being exclusively recognized are in drug monitoring, disease monitoring and drug/ disease management by protocol. The clinical skills and activities by pharmacist in pharmaceutical care include patient assessment, patient education and counselling, patient- specific pharmacist care plan and drug- treatment protocols.