Pharmacists: Star Players on a Health Care Dream Team

FEBRUARY 09, 2019
Mike Hennessy Sr, Chairman and CEO
During the keynote address of the 2018 American Society of Health System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting in Anaheim, California, basketball legend and HIV/AIDS prevention advocate Earvin “Magic” Johnson drew upon his experience both on the basketball court and in the business world to empower attendees to embrace their potential as health care providers and leaders. ​​One of the most prominent themes of his speech was the importance of teamwork.

Notably, as he reflected on his own HIV diagnosis, Johnson thanked pharmacists for their crucial role in treating patients with the disease and referred to them as a “dream team.”

His speech highlighted the crucial role that pharmacists can play in preventing and treating diseases such as HIV and AIDS.

A study conducted by researchers from the University of New Mexico concluded that pharmacist-run clinics at which pre-exposure prophylaxis is provided to at-risk patients could help reduce HIV infection rates.1 Additionally, a poster presented at Midyear 2018 suggested that pharmacist-led medication reconciliation could improve inpatient continuity of care in HIV-positive patients.2

Just as all the members of a basketball team must work together to claim victory, so, too, must pharmacists collaborate with nurses, physicians, and technicians to improve patient outcomes. Considerable research demonstrates the benefits of incorporating pharmacists into interdisciplinary health care teams. One study, for example, found that pharmacist interventions yielded reduced glycated hemoglobin values among patients with diabetes and that communication between pharmacists and physicians was integral to these results.3

Given their accessibility, pharmacists can also work alongside other health care providers to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States.To help pharmacists in this endeavor, this issue of Plantsvszombies.info® contains articles on CVD, diabetes, hypertension, and more, as well as a free continuing-education activity on improving the performance of specialty pharmacists in the care of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. As health care evolves, continue to look for new opportunities to collaborate with other members of the health care team to work together toward an all-important prize: improved patient health. 

References: 
  1. Deters MA, Laven A, Castejon A, et al. Effective interventions for diabetes patients by community pharmacists: a meta-analysis of pharmaceutical care components. Ann Pharmacother. 2018;52(2):198-211. doi: 10.1177/1060028017733272. 
  2. Keenan R, Lewis J, Sanchez D, Anderson B, Mercier RC. The next step in PrEP: evaluating outcomes of a pharmacist-run HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) clinic. ID Week website. idsa.confex.com/idsa/2018/webprogram/Paper72194.html. Accessed December 12, 2018.
  3. Coppock K. Pharmacist intervention and continued HIV care: examining the connection. Plantsvszombies.info. December 7, 2018. pharmacytimes.com/conferences/ashpmidyear2018/medication-reconciliation-could-improve-hiv-continuity-of-care. Accessed December 12, 2018. 
  4. CDC. Heart disease facts. . Updated November 28, 2017. Accessed October 12, 2018. 


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