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PJ Online | Pharmacists have been managing medicines for years

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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 268 No 7195 p580-581
27 April 2002

This article

Meetings and Conferences

AAH/Vantage convention summary

Pharmacists have been managing medicines for years

Community pharmacists have always been involved in medicines management, albeit on an informal basis, said Dr Hooman Ghalamkari, proprietor of Dines Green Pharmacy, Worcester.

"A lot of us are already involved in doing many of these things," Dr Ghalamkari said. "So medicines management is not something very technical which community pharmacists cannot do. We are already doing a lot of it."

For this reason, he did not consider medicines management to be a new role for pharmacists, but an extension of their existing role. Nevertheless, he believed that change was necessary and that pharmacists should be sure to shape that change and take advantage of the opportunities it offered.

From the point of view of dealing with repeat prescriptions alone, community pharmacists had more interaction with patients than any other health professional, he said. Pharmacists were more aware of medication problems than any other health professional and they occupied a position between formal health services and informal health networks, such as family and friends. Further, people had always sought advice from pharmacists about medicines. Pharmacists should exploit these factors when they sought an extension to their medicines management role.

Dr Ghalamkari warned against drawing up too narrow a definition of medicines management which could restrict the opportunities available to pharmacists. He presented a matrix (see below) of the various elements that he believed contributed to medicines management at different levels.

Medicines management matrix


Prescription management

Concordance & adherence

Prescribing policy support

Clinical pharmacy


Dispensing only


Harmonisation of prescription quantities and rationalisation of strengths

Ensure clarity and safety of prescription


Collection of prescription from surgery (dispense on patient request)

Monitoring of patient requests against patient medication records

Formulary support

Monitoring and counselling as per protocol, clinical guideline or integrated care pathway. Clinics for medication review


Instalment dispensing

Provision of compliance aids

Empowerment to initiate and manage approved changes to medication

Pharmaceutical care plans. Pharmacist prescribing

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