Clinical pharmacist, link between doctors and patients

By   |  Published: 13th Apr 2017  1:28 amUpdated: 13th Apr 2017  7:35 pm
Representational Image.

Hyderabad: To strengthen medical facilities at government hospitals, authorities in the State are in the process of recruiting health care professionals at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

While recruitment of human resources for government hospitals is underway, nothing much has been talked about in terms of recruiting clinical pharmacists, who are an important link between doctor and the patient, said experts in public health and senior doctors here.

Considered as an important cog in the wheel of health care delivery mechanism, unlike in Europe and United States, the role of clinical pharmacists is less defined in India.

Of late, however, the acceptance towards clinical pharmacists has started to rise and private hospitals in Hyderabad are recruiting talented clinical pharmacists.

“People tend to get confused between pharmacists and clinical pharmacists because there is no awareness on the issue. Pharmacists disburse medicines at a drug store while clinical pharmacists work with doctors and patients to ensure efficient delivery of drugs to patients,” said Katam Sai Kumar, national president, Doctor of Pharmacy Association.

Unlike pharmacists, clinical pharmacists work directly with physicians, other health professionals, and patients to ensure that the medications prescribed for patients contribute to the best possible health outcome, said Dr Sai Kumar.

Senior pharmacists also urged the State government to consider recruiting such specialists in the upcoming specialised ICUs in the State.

“To improve quality of health care for patients, it is necessary to appoint a clinical pharmacist with Pharm D or M Pharma qualification. This will ensure better and safer medication to patients,” said Dr Rapolu Satyanarayana, pharmacist from Department Health, Warangal.

Doctors said that clinical pharmacists essentially ensure that the medicines administered to the patients were effective and safe.

“If a person has an adverse reaction to a drug then it is the responsibility of clinical pharmacists to notify the doctor and suggest a better drug suitable for patient. They also monitor drug dosages to ensure patients are getting enough, but not too much, of the drug,” Dr Katam Sai Kumar said.

Senior doctors said the State government should design, implement and monitor policies aimed at providing professional Clinical Pharmacy services at primary, secondary and tertiary level of health care.

There is no separate cadre for clinical pharmacists in TS. In fact, while there are six-year PharmD courses offered by 100 pharma colleges in Telangana, such courses are not available in government sector.