I appreciated your article about the expanding services offered by local pharmacists ("A Far Different Pharmacy," June 26).
Physicians who feel threatened by pharmacists offering disease management and education services may be missing the point. The expanding role of pharmacists is complementary to that of physicians. In fact, a growing number of pharmacists are setting up collaborative relationships with doctors.
In a health-care system in which doctors have limited time to spend with their patients, pharmacists are stepping up and providing quality services that patients need, increasingly in collaboration with physicians.
As a pharmacist of 24 years, I really appreciated your in-depth investigation into the evolving role of pharmacists.
In addition to offering disease management and prevention services (immunizations, screenings, etc.), pharmacists spend 30% of their time dealing with health plans and advocating for patients--ironically, this includes helping patients sort out problems they have with their health plans' mail-order pharmacy.