The expanded role of 21st century pharmacists will position them to have greater impact in the shifting landscape of health care and public health. Beyond the dispensing of medications, pharmacists also provide a spectrum of prevention services to help improve health outcomes. In the United States, people with chronic conditions account for 91% of all prescriptions filled. By 2020, it is estimated that 157 million Americans will have at least 1 chronic non-infectious or infectious medical condition. By understanding and maximizing the role of pharmacists, opportunities exist to better use their knowledge and skills to improve our nation's health.
New collaborative care models identify pharmacists as important contributors to the healthcare team. Enhanced training equips pharmacists with the necessary skills to provide a variety of preventive care and wellness services-increasing access to care for patients. For public health, incorporating pharmacists in team-based care increases patient awareness of the importance of medication adherence and further encourages and supports behavior change and self-management of many chronic illnesses and diseases.
In this session of Public Health Grand Rounds, expert speakers illustrate the impact of including pharmacists in team-based care, share tools that CDC has developed to facilitate incorporating pharmacists in public health initiatives, and provide examples of how pharmacists are working in healthcare settings to prevent and manage diseases.