(1994; 60 pages)
5. Pharmaceutical care is a philosophy of practice in which the patient is the primary beneficiary of the pharmacist’s actions. Pharmaceutical care focuses the attitudes, behaviours, commitments, concerns, ethics, functions, knowledge, responsibilities and skills of the pharmacist on the provision of drug therapy with the goal of achieving definite therapeutic outcomes toward patient health and quality of life.1, 2
1 Hepler, CD, Strand LM. Opportunities and responsibilities in pharmaceutical care. Am J. Hosp Pharm, 1990; 47: 533-543.
2 Commission to Implement Change in Pharmaceutical Education. A position paper Entry-level Education in Pharmacy: A Commitment to Change. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy News. Special Report. Alexandria VA 1991
6. Although this definition focuses on drug therapy in the individual patient, the Group chose to expand the beneficiary of pharmaceutical care to the public as a whole and also to recognize the pharmacist as a health care provider who can actively participate in illness prevention and health promotion along with other members of the health care team. Thus, in this report, pharmacists’ functions are divided into those related to individual patients and those related to the community. The Group considered pharmaceutical care to be an overarching practice philosophy to which all pharmacists should aspire. Bearing in mind the particular stages of development of healthcare delivery and pharmaceutical services in particular countries, pharmacists will need to use their professional discretion in setting priorities for the achievement of these objectives.
7. The Group recognized that the team approach is vital to achieve the optimum use of limited resources - both human and financial - in meeting healthcare needs in all countries. Thus, although the roles of pharmacists are considered in this report, the Group recognized that pharmaceutical care is not provided in isolation from other health care services, but in collaboration with patients, physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers.
8. Where the pharmacist alone provides pharmaceutical care to a patient by initiating the therapy with a non-prescription drug or acts within a team on a prescribed therapy, the standards of the pharmacists activities should conform to national pharmacy standards based on the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Guide to Good Pharmacy Practice.
9. In certain countries, more patients are being treated with complex therapies in intermediate care facilities or in their homes. The reasons for this include an increase in the number of elderly in the population and the trend to shorten periods of hospital treatment. Consequently, the Group believes that pharmaceutical care provision will extend beyond the traditional pharmacy establishments and that pharmacists will have to collaborate with one another to ensure continuity of pharmaceutical care.