Enabling patient-facing care: Pharmacists at the top of their licenses

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Enabling patient-facing care: Pharmacists at the top of their licenses

By David Orgel - 01/08/2018

Pharmacists still are waiting for the handcuffs to come off. That’s the consensus of industry leaders who are frustrated with the challenges of getting reimbursements for a wider range of services these professionals can perform. It’s a topic at the center of enabling patient care in community-based pharmacy.

“We talk about pharmacists being able to practice at the top of their license,” said CVS Health executive vice president of retail pharmacy and supply chain Kevin Hourican.

“What’s disappointing is that the regulations sometimes significantly lag [with] what the customers actually want.”

He pointed to point-of-care testing as a key area where pharmacists could rise to their full potential.

“A patient could come to a 24-hour pharmacy when a doctor isn’t available to have tests completed. There would be prescriber authority to be able to write for antibiotics, for example, for a positive strep throat test.”

Further, pharmacists could play bigger roles in helping patients determine if they need cholesterol medications, or hypertension medications, he said.

“We believe the pharmacist can play an even more important role in this space,” he said, especially given the convenient locations for patients.

Hourican emphasized that the industry is collaborating to make progress on this goal.

“We are working with many industry partners and NACDS to help advance forward improvements to select regulations, so we can serve the communities and our patients more appropriately.”