Vancouver: March was celebrated as national Pharmacist Awareness Month. This year’s theme is ‘The pharmacist is in’. Asian Journal spoke with Derek Desrosiers Director, Pharmacy Practice Support at British Columbia Pharmacy Association about the role pharmacists play in BC’s health care system.
Asian Journal: On what medical conditions a pharmacist can guide an individual?
Derek: Only physicians can diagnose a medical condition. However, many pharmacies now offer clinics and assistance to help people who are living with chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes. Pharmacists can also play a role in helping to prevent illness by providing advice and counseling on adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, or smoking cessation. Most pharmacies also offer in-store blood-pressure monitoring and can assist with the diagnosis and treatment of minor ailments such as diaper rash, insect bites and cold sores, etc.
Asian Journal: Can an individual avoid going to a doctor and instead follow up with pharmacist for common cold, flu and stuff like that?
Derek: Your pharmacist can advise you on over-the-counter medications that may help relieve the symptoms of the common cold and provide vaccinations to help you avoid the seasonal flu.Your pharmacist also has the training and experience to advise you to see your family physician when your symptoms may require medical attention. Asian Journal: Does one need to take appointment to go to a Pharmacist to understand medication?
Derek: You don’t need an appointment to talk to your pharmacist about the medications you are taking. You may need an appointment for a medication review, depending on how busy the pharmacy is at the time you arrive.