Healthcare Provider Status Gaining Traction for Pharmacists

May 2015, Vol 3, No 5 - Letter from the Editor
Frederique H. Evans, MBS

The state of Massachusetts has recently introduced a bill seeking to recognize pharmacists as healthcare providers.

It is an exciting time for pharmacists and other healthcare providers who are now being given greater opportunities to engage with one another to provide optimal access to quality care (see “5 Facts About HB 2041”).

The provider status for pharmacists is a key component to ensuring continuation of care for patients. In this month’s featured article, Paige Schultz, PharmDc, and colleagues discuss how to manage miscarriage patients who have been prescribed misoprostol (see “Patients Taking Misoprostol Misunderstood: How to Manage Patients with Miscarriages”). The article also includes our first commentary authored by a patient, which highlights the importance of continuity of care, as well as the need for communication among healthcare professionals and between them and their patients.

In addition, pharmacists, clinicians, and physicians are in an ideal position to raise awareness in their community. With the recent human immuno­deficiency virus (HIV) outbreak reported in the state of Indiana (see “Outbreak of HIV in Indiana Linked to Oxymorphone Injection”), which was associated with syringe-

sharing of opioid oxymorphone injections, it is important to educate patients, raise awareness, and provide access to care. “The outbreak highlights the vulnerability of many rural, resource-poor populations to drug use, misuse, and addiction, in the context of a high prevalence of unaddressed cormorbid conditions,” according to the report published in a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Among those infected with HIV, approximately 85% were found to be coinfected with hepatitis C. In this issue, Lisa Cervantes, PA-C, discusses hepatitis C treatment and suggests that this infectious disease should be considered a public health problem (see “Hepatitis C Treatment: Looking Back, and Moving Forward”). Specifically, she discusses screening, differentiation between genotypes, as well as new treatment regimens.

With the growing responsibilities of healthcare professionals, it is important for pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians to be aware of upcoming changes in guidelines to implement the best practices. To this end, we feature an article by Ann Johnson, PharmD, who discusses the changes in pregnancy and lactation product labeling, which will go into effect on June 30 (see “Upcoming Changes in Pregnancy and Lactation Product Labeling”). “Although physicians and pharmacists will now need to spend more time reading the pregnancy and lactation sections to better understand the risks certain drugs pose to the mother, fetus, and child, all parties will benefit from the increased availability of information,” she explained.

This issue also provides key information on how to achieve professional success, with a featured article focusing on diversifying pharmacy revenues by Kevin C. Day, PharmD, and John O. Beckner, RPh (see “Diversifying Pharmacy Revenues: Opportunities for Growth and Differentiation”). It includes key opportunities for changes, including point-of-care testing, clinical trial recruitment, and pharmacogenomic testing.

We hope you will enjoy reading through this issue of Inside Patient Care: Pharmacy & Clinics, and look forward to receiving your comments about the issue, or specific articles we have published.

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Last modified: May 27, 2015
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