The emerging role of psychiatric pharmacists

Lawrence J. Cohen

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3 Scopus citations


The concept of pharmaceutical care has greatly expanded the role of the pharmacist, from that of strictly a drug dispenser to a more integrated member of a patient's healthcare team. In order for pharmaceutical care practice to succeed, the pharmacist must assume a more proactive role, using his or her knowledge of drug therapy and behavioral medicine to assume more responsibility in achieving improvement in patient health outcomes. The pharmacist must also develop open, professional relationships with patients, their families/caregivers, and other members of the healthcare team. Pharmaceutical care comprises 4 components: education, medical-legal issues, drug therapy knowledge, and communication. Through these efforts, and because pharmacists offer greater access to patients and a broader view of patient outcomes, pharmaceutical care affords the opportunity for these professionals to become patient advocates and prevent line-item decision making. Special considerations exist for psychiatric pharmacists practicing pharmaceutical care, especially in documentation and formulary decisions. Psychiatric pharmacists can ensure that patients have access to the safest, most efficacious (and cost-effective) drugs by considering more than just acquisition costs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number10 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1999


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