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How pharmacists can support self-management

Pharmacists: an expanding role

Pharmacists can play a key role in expanding the primary care team. NZ has more than 3500 practicing pharmacists, 75% of these work in community pharmacies visited by over 1.3 million people each year. Around 2% of pharmacists work in primary care teams. In this role, they are sometimes called 'Clinical Pharmacists' and provide advanced-level medicines management services in a variety of practice settings including GP clinics, and via Primary Health Organisations. 

Pharmacists can:

- Provide accessible, evidence-based advice on medicines and general health matters that support people to make healthy choices and stay well, including smoking cessation, weight management, flu vaccination and sexual health.

- Provide screening services  and health checks such as:

  • Blood glucose testing

  • Blood pressure testing

  • Cholesterol testing

  • Iron testing

  • Anticoagulation monitoring (warfarin)

- Undertake medicines use reviews by both accredited community pharmacists and mobile pharmacist workforce. 

Medicine Use Reviews

This involves pharmacists conducting a private face-to-face consultation to review all medicines currently prescribed for a particular person and includes any medicines purchased from a pharmacy (often called OTC for Over the Counter), as well as any complementary and alternative medicines or supplements. A pharmacist will also assess issues arising from medication interactions, side effects or discontinued medicines and the need for adherence packaging to make it easier for a patient to take their medications correctly. This has the potential to improve patients understanding and adherence of medicines and reduce acute presentations for people with COPD or heart failure and reduce adverse reactions and use of secondary services.

Medicine Use Reviews (often called MUR) have the potential to improve patient's understanding and adherence to medicines and reduce acute presentations for people with COPD or heart failure. It can also reduce adverse reactions and use of secondary services.

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