Chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, require continuous monitoring and management.
For patients living with chronic diseases, regular trips to the pharmacy can be an important part of their healthcare routine. But what is the range of services you can expect to access from your neighborhood pharmacy which can make managing your chronic disease easier?
As you are already aware, pharmacies offer medicine dispensing services, which can include filling prescriptions, ordering refills, and answering any questions you may have about their medications. Most pharmacies also carry out basic monitoring tests like blood pressure checks, blood sugar checks as well as general counselling based on the results of these health checks. Health checks are quite valuable for everyone including those who aren’t diabetic or hypertensive as it helps with early detection. This enables quicker intervention in form of lifestyle changes or early treatment before the disease progresses.
Pharmacies offer medication management services, such as reviewing a patient’s medication regimen to check for potential interactions or duplications and make recommendations for dosage adjustments. These are underrated services that many members of the public don’t utilize. Most chronic disease patients hardly see their physicians till they begin to sense something is wrong, they just go ahead with their monthly refills and a few tests sometimes. They don’t take time to engage with a pharmacist and go over their medications, share feedback and analyse their test results to assess how effective treatment is going.
This service is even more important for persons managing multiple conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and sometimes other conditions like Arthritis, high cholesterol or ulcers. Multiple conditions require several medications and things get complicated from there and need closer follow-up. Sometimes some medicines will need to be changed due to how they react with other medicines. Other times they have to be removed due to another condition the patient has.
Some medicines can even have some side effects on an individual that may not be manageable for example a class of anti-hypertensive can reduce sexual performance and might need to be removed. These and more are the kind of problems medication therapy management seeks to identify and solve with the end goal of getting better treatment results and improving quality of life.
In addition to traditional medication services, many pharmacies also offer vaccinations, such as flu shots and pneumonia shots. For patients with chronic diseases, these vaccines can be particularly important, as they can help prevent serious complications from these illnesses. Pharmacies always have pharmacists who can provide information on healthy living and disease management. For example, a pharmacist can provide advice on how to properly use an inhaler for asthma, or how to monitor blood sugar levels for diabetics
Online pharmacies are also increasing in popularity, which offers the added convenience of having your medication delivered to your door. They also provide easy and quick access to a wide range of health-related products, such as over-the-counter medications, supplements, and diagnostic tests. Some online pharmacies now have ways of offering medication therapy management through online platforms and incorporating physical visits when necessary. The goal is to make these services easily accessible to patients whose schedules might make physical visits sometimes impossible. They also offer additional services such as email and telephone consultations with pharmacists, medication reminders, and automatic refill reminders.
Pharmacies play an important role in the management of chronic diseases by providing medication dispensing services, medication therapy management services and expert health and lifestyle advice. Whether you get services from a traditional bricks and mortar pharmacy or the convenience of an online pharmacy, it is essential to work closely with your pharmacist to manage your chronic disease and improve your quality of life.
At WeFill Africa, we aggregate these pharmacies across the country so that you can have access to them wherever your enrollees are.