Betty Chaffee, PharmD, is owner and sole proprietor of BetterMyMeds, a Medication Management service devoted to helping people get the maximum benefit from their medications.
Well, here comes 2022!
A lot has changed over the past two years. And if we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that lots was changing even before that. But the changes really accelerated in early 2020 and, for many of us, life feels different now. Some of us feel mostly loss -- lost connections with people we love, lost or changed jobs, profound loneliness. But others may look at change differently and see new appreciation for the rare gathering with friends, a slower pace of life, or even unexpected joy in solitude.
Here's one thing that hasn't changed, and likely won't in our lifetimes. If you're like the majority of Americans, you take at least one prescription medication, and maybe one or more dietary supplements. You might even be in the sizeable percentage of Americans who take five or more prescription medications. What you may not know is that having a pharmacist on your healthcare team can improve your health outcomes!
I'm not just saying that because I'm a pharmacist who specializes in Medication Management. Actually, it's just the opposite. I'm a pharmacist specializing in Medication Management because research has shown that pharmacists improve health outcomes! Studies have looked at many health problems and found that pharmacists help people stay healthier. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, lung disease, and other health problems have been shown to have better outcomes when pharmacists are included on the healthcare team. In fact, the US Surgeon General recommends adding pharmacists to the healthcare team to improve outcomes in cardiovascular disease.
Why is that? Doctors are smart people, and they care about you. Why aren't doctors enough to give you the best health outcomes? I go back to what I've always said, that pharmacists are medication experts. We look at medication use through a different lens than doctors and other prescribers. We're often better at identifying problems related to medication use. We can predict common problems. Plus, we can keep an eye on whether your prescriptions are refilled when they should be, which can give us a clue about whether you might be taking it incorrectly, having trouble affording it, or wondering whether it's really working for you. It's just a different way of looking at things. And most importantly, pharmacists are great go-betweens to help you communicate more effectively with your doctor.
What is Medication Management? Briefly, it's regular interactions between you and your pharmacist that focus on your medications and health outcomes. I'm not just talking about the random question you may ask when you pick up your prescriptions. This is a specific patient-care process that takes some time. Your community pharmacists are qualified to provide these types of services. But because of the business model of most pharmacies, they typically don't have the time to sit down with you for an in-depth talk about your health and medicines. On the other hand, Better My Meds is a pharmacy practice that completely focuses on Medication Management. We are all about you getting the best value from the medications you take.
People will continue to be diagnosed with common health problems. Doctors will continue to prescribe medications to treat most of them. And that means that lots of people will continue to need help understanding their medications more fully. Help finding alternatives when the first one isn't quite right. Help balancing the risks and benefits of taking medication (or not). And because your pharmacist is much more accessible than your doctor, you have instant access to valuable health information!
This holiday season, think about yourself and your loved ones. Is there anyone who's frustrated by the number of medications and/or dietary supplements they take? Who sees several doctors and wonders if they communicate with one another? Who's frequently hospitalized or seen in an emergency department? Give your loved one (or yourself!) the gift of better health with a gift card for Medication Management Services from BetterMyMeds. Gift cards can be used for any of the services we offer, and they don't expire. Plan to make an appointment with us soon -- you'll be glad you did!
If you have any comments or questions about Medication Management and how it can help you or your loved ones, please feel free to leave them in the comment space below or contact us directly. We love to hear from you!
This is the last time you'll hear from me in 2021, as I'll be doing my best to relax and enjoy the holidays. I hope you will, too. To all my patients, past and present, my readers and the supporters of BetterMyMeds, a warm Merry Christmas and wishes for a happy and (especially) healthy New Year!