The Important Role Pharmacists Play in Your Health
From Medication Dispensing, Drug Information and More
In 1981, the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia was founded to help build trust between patients and pharmacies, as well as to protect public health and ensure that all pharmacists in the Province are qualified and able to provide the public with adequate and ethical pharmaceutical care.
Like doctors, pharmacists also play a very crucial role in patient health. They serve as a link between healthcare practitioners and their patients, and are responsible for dispensing medications prescribed to you by your physician as well as monitoring your health and any adverse reactions that you might have to medicine in which you are taking, including making note of any abnormal side effects and allergies.
When a patient brings a prescription to the pharmacy, it is their job to discuss the drug with the patient by explaining what it’s used for as well as ensuring the patient is aware of how to properly take their medication. If you are taking multiple medications, pharmacies will check their computer systems to ensure that there are no interactions between medications that could be harmful to you. While some drug interactions are minor, others are severe, so it is important to weigh the risks and benefits. In order to avoid potential interactions, pharmacists will often suggest a replacement medication, and in this case they would initiate contact with the prescribing physician on the patient’s behalf — either by phone or fax.
Aside from allocating medication to patients, pharmacists also counsel patients on various health topics such as smoking cessation, diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol control. They are also trained to administer injections to patients such as flu shots. You can find out which pharmacies have flu shots available by going to Immunize BC’s website at www.immunizebc.ca where you will find their Influenza Clinic Locator.