Your pharmacist will play an even greater role in your health care

An Express Scripts® Pharmacy pharmacist holds a tablet.

A new report looks at how pharmacists’ jobs will change over the next ten years

What role will your pharmacist play in your overall health care in the next decade? To help answer this question, Express Scripts® Pharmacy commissioned Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health to conduct the largest and most comprehensive research study on the topic that incorporates the voice of the patient.

They surveyed pharmacists, healthcare providers, and patients across the U.S. and found that the role of the pharmacist is changing and expanding. Researchers concluded that pharmacists are expected to play an even more important role in the future of health care — taking on new responsibilities beyond dispensing medications and becoming an essential part of your healthcare team.

You can download an executive summary of the report. We’ve summarized key aspects of the report below.

Pharmacists are taking on new responsibilities beyond dispensing medications

While the survey found retail pharmacists spend about 50% of their time dispensing and filling medications, that percentage is expected to decrease over the next decade. Supported by technology and automation, the pharmacist of the future is expected to take a more active role in your health care.

  • Prescribing medication In some states, pharmacists can already prescribe certain types of medication. Expect your pharmacist to receive more training in diagnosing minor conditions and prescribing medication.
  • Counseling patients Expect to see pharmacists spend more time proactively counseling patients on their medications and become a trusted first stop for patients with questions about their medications and health care.

At Express Scripts® Pharmacy, we already have pharmacists who are entirely focused on patient outreach and medication counseling. Without the distractions and lack of privacy of a retail setting, patients can feel more comfortable to ask questions about their medications, and pharmacists are encouraged to take the time to answer those questions. Our pharmacists are available 24/7, so you can always get the answers you need right when you need them and in the privacy of your own home.

Pharmacists are becoming an essential, integrated part of your healthcare team

Doctors and other healthcare providers are turning to pharmacists more often for support. According to our survey, 72% of providers consider pharmacists to be part of their healthcare team, working together to provide the best care for their patients.

There is also a growing shortage of primary care physicians in the U.S. While nurses can help fill some of these gaps, pharmacists will also play an important role.

  • Preventive care Expect to see pharmacists taking on more preventive care responsibilities, such as conducting health and wellness screenings and administering vaccines.
  • Chronic disease management You can also expect pharmacists to help even more with managing chronic conditions and diseases, like high blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes.

Express Scripts® Pharmacy is already supporting patients with these conditions through our Therapeutic Resource Centers. In these centers, pharmacists are focused on the treatment and management of specific conditions and have yearly training on the conditions they’re supporting. We have Therapeutic Resource Centers focused on diabetes, immunology/HIV, cardiovascular conditions, pulmonary conditions, neuroscience, and women’s health.

To read the executive summary of the report, The Prescription of Trust: Pharmacists transforming patient care, visit

To learn more about Express Scripts® Pharmacy, visit

Posted date: January 12, 2022

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