Self-Care in the Twenty First Century: A Vital Role for the Pharmacist

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Advances in Therapy, 2016, 33 (10), pp. 1691 - 1703
Issue Date:
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© 2016, The Author(s). In order for the global healthcare system to remain sustainable, healthcare spending needs to be reduced, and self-treating certain conditions under the guidance of a pharmacist provides a means of accomplishing this goal. This article was developed to describe global healthcare trends affecting self-care with a specific focus on the role of the pharmacist in facilitating over-the-counter (OTC) medication management. Potential healthcare-related economic benefits associated with the self-care model are outlined. The importance of the collaboration between healthcare providers (HCPs), including specialists, primary care providers, and pharmacists, is also discussed. The evolving role of the pharmacist is examined and recommendations are provided for ways to successfully engage with other HCPs and consumers to optimize the pharmacist’s unique qualifications and accessibility in the community. Using the management of frequent heartburn with an OTC proton-pump inhibitor as a model, the critical role of the pharmacist in patient self-treatment of certain symptoms will be discussed based on the World Gastroenterology Organization’s recently published guidelines for the community-based management of common gastrointestinal symptoms. As the global healthcare system continues to evolve, self-care is expected to have an increasing role in treating certain minor ailments, and pharmacists are at the forefront of these changes. Pharmacists can guide individuals in making healthy lifestyle choices, recommend appropriate OTC medications, and educate consumers about when they should consult a physician. Funding: Pfizer Inc.
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