Pharmacists Increasingly Take On Clinical Roles

Once limited to filling and dispensing drugs, pharmacists are increasingly providing direct care to patients. Across the country, they are working with doctors to give immunizations and help patients safely manage medications.

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. Jill Freedman felt like her heart was jumping out of her chest. She knew her blood pressure was too high and feared having a heart attack or a stroke.

"I was freaking out," said Freedman, 55. "You get very emotional when you think you could drop dead at any moment."

Her doctor doubled one of her medications, she said, but that only made her feel worse. So Freedman turned to the one person she knew she could count on -- her pharmacist.

"It was Diana who figured out what the problem was," said Freedman, referring to her longtime pharmacist Diana Arouchanova. "Had she not been on top of what I’m going through, God knows how many more weeks this could have potentially gone on."

Arouchanova, who owns Clinicare Pharmacy, reviewed Freedman's medications and realized that her problem stemmed from the dangerous combination of two prescriptions. She got the physician to change the medications and started checking Freedman's blood pressure daily. Soon, it began to drop.

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Source: Kaiser Health News