The Changing Role Of The Pharmacist

The physician pictured above, Dr. Vamsi Arbindi, blogs under the title “The Medical Intellectual.” Laying claim to that territory is one thing, defending it is another. But in this post, I think he does a very good job of doing just that.

Check it out. What you will see is a clear and lucid report of how the role, and the training, of pharmacists has changed in recent years. Example. Formerly a five-year bachelor’s program, pharmacy is now a graduate degree. I didn’t know that!

Pharmacists are now giving the vaccines that physicians used to administer, are licensed to prescribe various medications in some states, are looking to be able to bill independently as “providers,” and are making other moves that have them, like PA’s and NP’s, nibbling away at the role of the physician. 

BUT. Vamsi goes on to make a really good point. Unlike other health care professionals, pharmacists are often employed by corporations that have policies that substantially impact a group that has neither the professional culture nor the legal protection in place to push back.  

So, what does all of this mean in the real world? It means that if the “corporation” has a program in place to clean up its act pertaining to opioid abuse, it can tell pharmacists to “deny” prescriptions that they consider to be suspect. Etc.  

Bottom Line. And what does this mean for those of us in the healthcare marketing vertical? Simple. It means that both as professionals and as patients, we need to keep an eye on the changing roles of the pharmacist and the impact of pharmacy corporations on these changes.  

AND. Maybe even reach out to help to make sure that these changes are in everyone’s best interest!

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