Dear Editor,

Your pharmacist can assist you in getting a handle on your health.

Pharmacists can be the most accessible source of medical knowledge and serve as the link between the patient and their physician, and they are here to serve you.

Today in healthcare, pharmacists in the United States must complete a Doctorate of Pharmacy program at an accredited institution. They must also be licensed by their respective state board of pharmacy. Safely dispensing medications and checking for possible mistakes or drug interactions is part of their daily task, but they are available to do so much more! They provide information about medications, both prescribed and over the counter. If the patient has questions or concerns about possible side effects, proper dosage or cost the pharmacist is there to assist.

Pharmacists are playing a more active role in improving the health and well-being of the patient. Most community pharmacies now offer immunizations, including seasonal flu shots. Administering the immunizations at the pharmacy can be more convenient for the patient and allows the pharmacist to become more involved in improving the community’s health.

Your pharmacist has a wealth of knowledge. Through medication therapy the pharmacist may analyze a particular patient’s current medication regimen and optimize it through recommendations to the patient’s doctor. These recommendations may include discontinuing or changing ineffective medications, switching to more cost affordable medications, changing to newer and more therapeutically superior drug forms, and more. This results in a more effective and cost efficient situation for the patient.

Your pharmacist is available and waiting to help you.

Jenna Shamburger

UAMS College of Pharmacy

Class of 2016