A Pharmacist Can Change One Life – And a Million
October is American Pharmacists Month, offering an opportunity to recognize the critical roles pharmacists play in the health care system. As an important part of a patient’s health care team, pharmacists work to maximize health outcomes, prevent medication errors, and reduce costs.
Many of our pharmacists dispense medications and provide expertise in the safe use of prescriptions, and impact the lives of millions of patients through education, research, and clinical expertise. Within Express Scripts Pharmacy, this means we annually counsel more than 1.5 million patients and fill 100 million prescriptions with 99.996% accuracy. Our pharmacists have condition-specific expertise, allowing for an unmatched depth and breadth of care.
Pharmacists work across our organization, in areas that include data and analytics, product development, supply chain, and clinical solutions. They help create innovative programs that tackle health care’s greatest challenges, including:
- Evernorth inMyndSM, which helps patients and payers recognize, treat, and support mental and behavioral health conditions. Recognizing that no one’s mental health journey is the same, our pharmacists played a key role in creating the first predictive models to map and help prevent the progression of anxiety, depression and insomnia.
- Our Advanced Opioid Management program, the first in the industry to address potential behavior and safety gaps at each touch point – for patients, pharmacists, and prescribers. This program is touching lives and making a difference, thanks to our pharmacists who created a multi-pronged approach to fighting the opioid epidemic, and to those who continue to work every day to get patients on a path toward safer use of opioid medication through the hundreds of hours of conversations they’re having with patients about opioid risks and safe disposal.
- Express Scripts SafeGuardRx®, a set of solutions that continuously identify new ways to manage disease states, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hepatitis C, inflammatory conditions, migraines, oncology, pulmonary conditions, multiple sclerosis, HIV, and rare conditions.
These represent just a few of the many ways that pharmacists play a huge role in addressing the needs of large populations while understanding the significance of caring for one person at a time.
And, that’s where pharmacists who work in more traditional roles come in.
Our pharmacists truly are Champions for Better, and I’d like to tell you about a few of them:
Yogini has received specialized training in medications to treat cardiovascular diseases. Recently, when a patient called with questions about his anticoagulant prescription, Yogini learned the patient lives in a rural area, 40 miles from his nearest pharmacy. In addition to counseling the patient on his medication, Yogini helped switch him to home delivery, ultimately improving the patient’s timely access to medication while reducing his annual costs.
Frank provides care for patients being treated for neurological disorders. While reviewing a prescription for a long-acting stimulant, Frank saw that it duplicated the patient’s current therapy. Frank reached out to the prescriber’s office to correct the error, ensuring the patient received the correct therapy, at the correct dosage, and preventing a potential overdose or other adverse side effects.
Kara spoke to a patient with narcolepsy who expressed feelings of hopelessness. Kara confirmed the patient was not alone and asked her partner to join the call. Kara then listened as the patient discussed her thoughts and needs. While the patient denied suicidal thoughts, she also expressed feelings of doom. Kara called into a suicide hotline with the patient and remained on the line until the patient was comfortable with her disconnecting.
These are just a few of the thousands of interactions our pharmacists have each day, as they provide care and counseling for patients’ physical and mental health.
During Pharmacists Month and every day of the year, we recognize and thank our pharmacists for a myriad of jobs well done.