In addition to dispensing medicines that cure illnesses and improve health, pharmacists provide education about medicines, help people manage and adhere to complex regimens, ensure drug safety, avert dangerous drug interactions, prevent overmedication, offer immunizations and screenings, advocate for access to medications and provide extensive health resources and educational services to the public. The practice of pharmacy involves so much more than merely counting pills.
Furthermore, these services are offered in community pharmacies, clinics, hospitals and nursing homes nationwide. In fact, 92 percent of Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association. Pharmacists do not require an appointment. Many pharmacies are open on evenings, weekends and holidays. Some are even open 24 hours a day.
No other health care provider offers this level of accessibility. As such, pharmacists must be recognized for the significant contributions they make to their communities, to the public’s health and to the entire health care system.