Drugs and medicines are necessary for safe and healthy living, saving lives, restoring health and preventing diseases and epidemics. It may be noted that medicines are essentially foreign substances and therefore, if not used with care they can do more harm than good. Hence, medicines must be of good quality, safe, efficacious and should be used rationally.
Pharmacist plays an important role in this regard and in the present scenario the role of pharmacist has been emerging continuously over the past three decades so as to cater to the needs of the society. In the present scenario, the pharmacist is a co-ordination centre between different members of healthcare team and the patients. Hence, an adequate role and involvement of a pharmacist in safe use of medicines and overall healthcare programme becomes very crucial.
Pharmacists play a key role in medication safety improvement. There is a powerful instrument that can be employed to help patients avoid dangerous drug interactions and adverse health effects that instrument are the pharmacists themselves. The pharmacist often interacts with patients more often than the prescribing medical professional.
Pharmacists are in a unique position to improve medication safety because, Pharmacists have clinical expertise to make a difference in the way patients manage chronic conditions for which they may be taking multiple medications.
Pharmacists are an affordable and accessible healthcare resource. For many patients, it is probably easier to consult a pharmacist than a doctor.
Pharmacists already play an active role in coaching patients on potential effects of their medications and why it is important to take them exactly as prescribed.
Pharmacists also play a key role in the dissemination of pharmaceutical knowledge. The practice of pharmacy includes the preparation and distribution of pharmaceutical products, the provision of advice on health and nutrition related aspects. Pharmacists can play an integral role in instructing drug abuse, counseling and other healthcare professionals about pharmacology and mechanism of action of abused substances and of medication used to treat substance use disorders.
Pharmacists have been chosen as key persons against drug abuse in advanced countries because of their education, accessibility and trustworthiness. Pharmacists play key role in preventing drug abuse by providing clear information and advice about the adverse effects of the medicines. Drug abuse may arise due to one of the following reasons such as wrong diagnosis, inappropriate drug selection, and wrong dosage schedule, situations where indications are not specified, unwarranted prophylactic use, poly pharmacy and drug interaction, drug-nutrient interaction, self medication with drugs, lack of facilities in rural or poor localities.
Pharmacists advise the patients to take the doses in proper time, so as to prevent any adverse consequences, such as missed dose of a glaucoma drug can lead to optic nerve damage and even blindness. Moreover, pharmacists enable the patients to pose educated queries and suggestions regarding medication to the healthcare provider which can in turn help in generating better prescriptions. Pharmacists play pivotal role among the healthcare providers because they are most informed person as far as choice of drug delivery system is concerned. Pharmacists are much aware about drug administrations, which to be explained to the consumers or patients as and when it is required. Pharmacists also make a link between the healthcare providers and patients.
In developed nations, the relationships between the pharmacists and prescribers are well due to the professional services offered by the pharmacists. In pakistan, professional relationships between the pharmacists and prescribers need to be strong in the interest of profession and patients care. Pharmacists should deliver a friendly approach to the prescribers in the healthcare sector. In the healthcare system pharmacists have important role to play. Pharmacists should know core knowledge of medications about their adverse effects, interactions, proper dosing and monitoring. Pharmacists should educate patients about hygiene, sanitation, and exercises, Pharmacists should convince the prescribers about medications without prescription and also discourage patients about self medications