Manitoba Pharmacists

Nov 2014

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Healthcare-WhenYouNeedIt WhereYouNeedIt YourHealth YourPharmacist ManitobaPharmacistsHelp ���������������������� SUPPLEMENT TO THE WINNIPEG FREE PRESS | SaTURday, NOvEMbER 22, 2014 YOUR HEALTH YOUR PHARMACIST Pharmacists welcome new proactive role By Jim Timlick It used to be that a pharmacist was the kindly person in a white coat who filled your prescription while chatting with you about your child's soccer team or the weather. lthough that kind of dialogue still oc- curs, the role of a pharmacist has un- dergone a substantial transformation. Thanks in part to the new Pharmaceu- tical Act introduced earlier this year, Manitoba pharmacists are playing a much more active role in determining healthy outcomes for more than 50,000 Manitobans on any given day. As a result, pharmacists are now authorized to do everything from administer vaccinations to order lab tests and prescribe some medications such as smoking cessation products. "Our profession has come a long way from just counting pills," says Barret Procyshyn, a phar- macist at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy and vice-president of the Manitoba Society of Phar- macists (MSP). "Most of the time we are talking to people and interacting with them to learn more about them and help keep them healthy." A big part of pharmacists' new, more proactive approach is educating individuals about what they need to know to get healthy and remain that way - whether it's counselling them on the proper asthma medication, offering a diagnosis on a skin condition or helping them understand how natural or non-prescription medication can affect their reactions to prescription drugs. "We want people to know they can come in and the pharmacist is able to provide so much more than just their medicine," he adds. As part of this educational approach, it's not uncommon to see pharmacists visiting a per- sonal care residence or group home to talk about responsible medication use and make sure indi- viduals are taking the medication they require. While interacting with the public is a major part of a pharmacist's day-to-day duties, much time is also spent working behind the scenes. Procyshyn says a large part of his day is spent consulting with the 25 physicians and medical residents at the clinic he works in to ensure that together they formulate the drug therapy plan that is best suited to each patient. He is often asked to conduct medication reviews to ensure patients are taking the right dosage of the right drug and ensure there are no adverse reactions in cases where individuals are taking multiple medications. The upside to this new proactive approach, Procyshyn says, is that it will allow precious re- sources to be deployed more efficiently. "All of these new responsibilities, which we are willingly taking on, will hopefully result in fewer walk-in clinic visits and maybe free up some family doctor time and save ER time as well," he says. This consistency and efficiency can be even more important in rural settings where doctor shortages and ER closures are more common. As the role of pharmacists has evolved, so too has the way they communicate with patients. Earlier this year the MSP launched a public edu- cation campaign to explain the expanded scope of pharmacy practice and how integral pharma- cists are to the health-care system. The tagline for the campaign, "Your Health, Your Pharmacist," has been prominently fea- tured in radio and print advertising. The Society has also used social media such as Twitter and YouTube to promote its message. "We're trying to make Manitobans aware of what we can do for them," says Procyshyn. "We want people to know we're ready to work with the government and the health-care system to improve the health of all Manitobans." ■ A

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