Community pharmacy-based asthma services: current perspectives and future directions
Suzanne G Bollmeier, Theresa R Prosser
St Louis College of Pharmacy, St Louis, MO, USA
Abstract: Achieving and maintaining asthma control and improving patients’ quality of life are cornerstones of asthma management. This review summarizes the current literature related to services provided by community pharmacists to patients with asthma. Comprehensive asthma programs provided by community pharmacists have improved patients’ knowledge of the disease, device technique skills, patient adherence, and quality of life. One study shows such comprehensive programs are cost effective in patients with severe or uncontrolled asthma, which cannot be extrapolated to all programs. Targeted interventions by pharmacists could be provided to a larger population of patients. Pharmacists have identified that lack of time, resources, and training are barriers to implementing asthma programs. In addition, optimal models are needed to integrate interventions into the dispensing workflow. Optimal training programs should include skills in problem solving, device technique, and counseling. A movement towards “institutionalizing” routine asthma interventions or patient encounters is necessary if consistent services are to be given to all patients, and appropriate compensation is provided for pharmacist services.
Keywords: community, pharmacy, pharmacist, asthma, education
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