Pharmacists’ Value Recognized by Public Health Community

By: | Apr-14-14

<p>Pharmacists have long known they could play a larger role in healthcare delivery and emergency preparedness, and the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 brought that message home to the public health community. </p>
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<p>It has been five years since the outbreak, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates caused between 7,070 and 13,930 deaths. In the five years since the outbreak, the public health community has gone from acknowledging that pharmacists are valued but underutilized professionals, to making concrete recommendations on how pharmacy can be better utilized. </p>
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<p>NACDS Vice President of Pharmacy Programs Alex Adams said pharmacy&rsquo;s value became very clear during the outbreak when the government called on community pharmacy to assist in vaccinating Americans to curb the spread of the disease. Pharmacists were able to get more than five million doses of H1N1 vaccines out in a matter of weeks. Adams says, &ldquo;They recognized that we can really help them meet their goals in terms of preparedness.&rdquo; </p>
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<p>The partnership between chain pharmacy and the public health community that formed during the outbreak has led to an increasing recognition of what pharmacists can bring to the table when they are practicing to the maximum of their capabilities. Last week during the <a href="http://preparednesssummit.org/2014-preparedness-summit/">2014 Preparedness Summit</a>, two significant publications came out validating the essential role pharmacy has played&mdash;and the potential for more fruitful collaborations in the public health arena. The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) released a <a href="http://preparednesssummit.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/MRC_RX-report-0325.pdf">report</a> outlining the value of pharmacists, saying that &ldquo;the accessibility

[of pharmacists] and their professional training has made pharmacists known as a &lsquo;first line&rsquo; resource for health.&rdquo; An <a href="http://www.liebertpub.com/overview/biosecurity-and-bioterrorism-biodefense-strategy-practice-brand-science/111/">article</a> written by CDC and NACCHO experts that appeared in the <em>Biosecurity and Bioterrorism </em>journal stated: &ldquo;With the expanded role of community pharmacists in public health during the past decade, their participation in response to emergencies has become increasingly important.&rdquo; </p>
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<p>NACDS&rsquo; Adams, a fourth generation pharmacist, says, &ldquo;From an early age, I&rsquo;ve always felt the role of pharmacists could be much more critical.&rdquo; Adams says the publications released last week represent a culmination of all the work chain pharmacy and the public health community have achieved, working collaboratively, over the past five years. He says, &ldquo;Significant public health gains have been made as a result of the collaboration, and we are now trying to encourage others to work with pharmacy because of the value we bring.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p>
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2016-12-06T13:24:32+00:00Apr-14-14|Categories: Article|Tags: , , , |