USA Today article highlights scope of service expansion at nation's pharmacies


The nation’s pharmacies are no longer just for prescription medications and states are proving to be the enablers to a broader the scope of practice.

In light of the evolving healthcare landscape, USA Today published an article on Friday about how pharmacists are increasingly working with doctors to assess patients, identify drug interactions and medication errors and, in some cases, even write a prescription.

Illustrating its point, the article features Diana Arouchanova, who owns Clinicare Pharmacy, who recently discovered that one of her patients had been prescribed by her doctor a dangerous combination of two medications. After discovering the error, Arouchanova got the doctor to change the prescription and started checking her patient’s high blood pressure to ensure it dropped.

As the article notes, several states such as California are giving pharmacists greater flexibility. In October, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a provision that allows pharmacists to perform physical assessments; order and interpret laboratory tests; refer patients to other providers; start, adjust and terminate medications under physician protocol; and work with other healthcare providers to evaluate and manage a patient’s health issues.

Other states, including New Mexico and North Carolina, also allow pharmacists to take on more clinical responsibilities, USA Today noted.

The article also mentions that CVS Caremark is a prime example of how pharmacies are taking on a greater role in promoting good health by deciding to stop selling tobacco products in all of its stores.



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