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Being a Leader Against the Leaders

The leading cause of death and disability in the United States is chronic disease. Those disease states being heart disease, diabetes, and morbidities of the like are those most commonly treated through community pharmacy settings. The long haul of therapeutics and years of therapy can be a daunting road ahead of those when first diagnosed. One of the most modifiable factors for combating chronic disease is adherence. Community pharmacy leaders thrive when it comes to providing patient care services, specifically those that improve medication adherence. At Waterfront Family Pharmacy, we pride ourselves in providing the most supportive care for our patients in order for them to reap the longevity strong adherence to medications has to offer.

When patients cross the threshold of being diagnosed, they step into a foreign world of physiology and medicine. Physicians can sometimes be their translator, but more times than not patients are left confused and worried. Community pharmacists are the healthcare leaders that can make a difference in this aspect of patient care that has fallen short so many times. Three crucial services provided at our pharmacy include device counseling, medication synchronization, and monthly adherence packaging. Each of these three services fill a void for differing patient populations. As community pharmacists, we make the time to walk our patients through device counseling, and even sometimes help patients administer their first dose or test in the pharmacy to ensure their understanding. When access, or travel logistics are an issue, medication synchronization can be the once a month stop a patient needs. Monthly adherence packaging provides control and simplicity to patients, who would otherwise have little hope to reach adherence standards. As most of us even in the healthcare profession would struggle with a 10+ medication regimen, spaced out at varying times of day.

The following patient narrative is an example of the benefit we can provide. One of our monthly adherence packaging patients first showed interest in the program due to the stress weekly packaging was putting on their daughter. Their daughter had no background in medicine, and was becoming worn down with the uncertainty and lack of confidence in the quality of care she was providing for her parent. Not only does our program provide patients with confidence in their medication regimens, but it also provides peace of mind and a better quality of life for our patients and their families. Relieving that burden through all of our patient care programs is why our patients choose Waterfront Family Pharmacy as a member of their healthcare team.

Community pharmacies are more than retailers, more than medication dispensaries. We are the much-needed support of patients facing the nation’s leading cause of death and disability. We have to ask ourselves, if not us, then who?

Written on behalf of CPESN West Virginia by West Virginia University School of Pharmacy student Logan Cox, PharmD Candidate

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