The National Association of Chain Drug Stores praised an article in the July Journal of the American Medical Associaton Network Open, for how it highlights the role of pharmacist in clinical patient care. The article, “Evaluation of Frequency of Encounters With Primary Care Physicians vs. Visits to Community Pharmacies Among Medicare Beneficiaries," highlighted the position pharmacies and pharmacists occupy in the prevention and management of chronic disease based on the number of visits from patients, particularly in small or isolated communities.
“The frequency of visits estimated by our analysis suggests that community pharmacists have frequent opportunities to deliver patient-centered services in community-based locations. As value-based health care increasingly places emphasis on preventive care and chronic disease management, the community pharmacist is a highly accessible clinician who can provide many of these services,” the authors noted.
An evolution of the NACDS Literature Program and NACDS Value-Based Vaccination Initiatives, the JAMA Network Open article further illustrates the value of pharmacy in improving clinical outcomes in various chronic diseases, and builds on the core policy recommendations necessary to help scale and sustain pharmacist-delivered preventable services and chronic care management. Of critical importance, the authors noted “the need to recognize pharmacists as providers of billable services, integrate pharmacists in emerging delivery and payment models, and enhance collaborative relationships between pharmacists and other members of the health care team,” NACDS said.
“Pharmacists are not only highly educated and widely trusted health professionals, but they are also well placed to provide patient-centered services in underserved and rural areas across the country,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.
Anderson pointed out that pharmacies exist within five miles of 90% of all Americans, and the accessibility of these health destinations is not only critical to improving chronic health outcomes and serving patients who otherwise would not be reached, but also is essential to the health of the nation as we continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The information and evidence presented by these healthcare experts reinforces the importance of community pharmacy’s collaborative relationship with physicians and other healthcare professionals to help keep patients healthy,” Anderson said.