As I was reading my e-mails one day this past month, I came across a message from Edward Bissler, Vice President of Pharmacy Support at Mirixa Corporation. I assumed the message was a mass e-mailing to all community pharmacies providing medication therapy management (MTM) services for patients who are eligible under the Mirixa platform.
The initial content of the message actually surprised me, as it discussed the appropriate and inappropriate use of consultant pharmacists to help community pharmacies provide and complete MTM-eligible cases. As I continued to read the e-mail, I was impressed with the information it contained.
In his e-mail, Bissler noted the following:
I really liked Bissler’s message to community pharmacists. I especially appreciated his ending comment: “Help us prove the value of community pharmacy counseling and expand the opportunity to transform the practice of community pharmacy to include ongoing patient care.” His message was succinct, clear, and positive.
From my perspective—and I have a tendency to view such messages with suspicion and hesitation—Bissler and the Mirixa Corporation hit the nail on the head. Community pharmacists provide a valuable service to their patients by helping them achieve therapeutic outcomes with safe and effective medications. Community pharmacists do this not only with their MTM services but in their everyday encounters with patients.
I am writing this column with the hope that it reaches most community pharmacists who are in the trenches providing pharmaceutical services to their patients. This is a call to action to all community pharmacists. For the first time in my 30-year career, there is real talk about the value of pharmacists, and community pharmacists are part of that discussion. Community pharmacists are being recognized for the impact they can have on patient health outcomes, but all of us need to step up our efforts. We have a real opportunity to secure our place as valuable health care team members, but this requires more work, more effort, more documentation, and more of us.
We need to ask ourselves the following questions:
If we cannot answer yes to any of these questions, then we need to do more. The time is right, and the time is now.
I have always believed in community pharmacy. I left academia more than 9 years ago to become an owner and put my money where my mouth is. It has been a good run so far, and I am a staunch supporter and firm believer of the value that community pharmacists provide to patients.
We have a great opportunity to tell our story and prove our value. Bissler is right when he said that it is time to transform the practice of community pharmacy. It begins with me!