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Pharmacy travel health services: current perspectives and future prospects

Authors Houle SKD

Received 7 November 2017

Accepted for publication 16 February 2018

Published 23 March 2018 Volume 2018:7 Pages 13—20


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling

Sherilyn KD Houle

School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Abstract: Rates of international travel are increasing annually, with particular growth observed in travel to Southeast Asia and to emerging economies. While all patients traveling across geographic regions are recommended to receive a pre-travel consultation to consider their individual risks, many do not, or receive care and recommendations that are not consistent with current evidence-based guidelines. As experts in drug therapy, and given the largely preventive nature of most travel health recommendations, pharmacists are well suited to help address this need. Pharmacists generally possess a high degree of knowledge and confidence with more commonly observed travel health topics in community practice such as travelers’ diarrhea; however, training in more specialized travel health topics such as travel vaccinations and traveling at altitude has generally been lacking from pharmacy curricula. Pharmacists with an interest in providing pre-travel consultations are encouraged to pursue additional training in this specialty and to consider Certificate in Travel Health designation from the International Society of Travel Medicine. Future roles for pharmacists to include the prescribing of medications and vaccines for travel and the in-pharmacy administration of travel vaccinations may improve patient access to pre-travel consultations and recommended preventive measures, improving the health of travelers and potentially reducing the burden of communicable disease worldwide. Pharmacists providing travel care to patients are also reminded to consider noninfectious risks of illness and injury abroad and to counsel patients on strategies to minimize these risks in addition to providing drug and vaccine recommendations.

pharmacist, community pharmacy, travel, vaccination

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