Changeing role of Pharmacists as caregivers

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) president Grant Kardachi has highlighted a report commissioned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in the United Kingdom which reinforces the need for practice change. Published in November, the report, Now or Never: Shaping Pharmacy for the Future, states the traditional model of community pharmacy would be challenged due to economic austerity, a crowded market and changing technology.

“A broader role for pharmacists as caregivers will be central to securing the future of community pharmacy.” Kardachi said shifting pharmacy from supply to a greater focus on the provision of a broader range of services was a view echoed by the PSA.

The report said pharmacists had a role in helping the health system make the shift from acute to integrated care, and fulfilling the need to do more for less. Pharmacists increasingly provided services that helped people stay well and use their medicines effectively, it said. “However the pace of change remains slow, and financial and structural incentives are not sufficiently aligned to support it.” Kardachi said the reduced margins from dispensing and other pressures meant a change was needed.

“Pharmacists as caregivers” was the way the industry needed to see itself, and be seen by patients and customers, he said. Pharmacists had the skills and knowledge to act as caregivers but have been largely underutilised he added. “Part of the reason for this is the lack of recognition of our abilities but our own reluctance to move from our comfort zone of dispensing contributes to the problem. “We need to build changes into the way we do business – in community pharmacy and in other areas of practice – to ensure that our practices change in line with new services.”

Click here to read the full report.

Source:, Thursday 16 January 2014