AudibleRx; Why all the fuss about Pharmacy Counseling?

There was a time when it was normal practice for a Pharmacist to not regularly counsel patients about their medications. Regardless of the knowledge base a Pharmacist had about the medications, it was their job to fill the prescription accurately and get it to the patient per the Doctor's order. Of course, your Pharmacist was always available for questions; however, it was not mandatory that they assure you know what you are doing with your medications before you left the store.

In 1990 the Federal Government passed a law titled the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. (OBRA 90). This law was passed, in part, because of a growing concern about improper medication use. The law required that all Medicaid patients receive counseling from a pharmacist with any new prescription. This isn't a situation where the patient is asked if they would like counseling, it is mandatory that the pharmacy offer counseling to each and every patient with a new prescription. The patient may deny the counseling if they choose.

It did not take long until all of the State Board of Pharmacy Legal departments took this on as standard of practice for all patients, not just Medicaid participants. So, for 22 years now, the law has stated that each and every time a patient receives a new prescription at the pharmacy they will be offered a counseling session with their Pharmacist.

These counseling sessions need to include specific information in order to be complete. The American Society of Health System Pharmacists developed a set of guidelines that includes all of the information necessary for a complete Pharmacist based patient education session. Each State Board of Pharmacy Legal department has also developed their own specific guidelines on what information needs to be discussed in a Patient counseling session about a new prescription.

It is encouraged that these counseling sessions be face to face so that the Pharmacist may evaluate directly if the patient understands what they are going to do with their medication and why they are taking it. It is difficult to overcome many of the barriers to effective counseling over the phone, however, telephone consultation is the only way a mail order prescription may be counseled.

It is my impression that this does not always happen. Like I have said before, regularly I get patients who have had their prescriptions filled through mail order pharmacies or at big store chain pharmacies, and have not had all of their questions answered for one reason or another. They happen to be walking by the Clinic Pharmacy that I work in and see that there is a Pharmacist accessible and stop in for a question.

AudibleRxTM offers Medication Specific Counseling SessionsTM in audio format. Each session covers all of the information that should normally be covered in a face to face or telephone consultation with your own Pharmacist. These sessions help you understand what you do know about your medication, and help you generate educated questions to take back to your own Pharmacist or Doctor.

AudibleRxTM developed a template from extensive reiew of all the guidelies on Pharmacist based patient education and counseling. We follow this template in the development of each Medication Specific Counseling SessionTM. Each recording is an original production; written, recorded and copyright protected by AudibleRxTM.

It is important to realize that the recordings at AudibleRxTM are meant to supplement your knowledge and understanding of your medications and are not a replacement for a counseling session with your own pharmacist. Please, talk with your Pharmacist or Doctor if you have any questions about your medication.

To become a member of AudibleRxTM, please visit the registration page and sign up. For a fee of $14.95 you will have complete access to all of the Medication Specific Counseling SessionsTM for five years. AudibleRxTM has many sessions posted, and more are added each week. Please visit the Medication page of AudibleRxTM to see which Medication Specific Counseling SessionsTM are currently available.

When patients are educated about their pharmaceuical care it is much more likely that they will be motivated to take their medications appropriately, decrease the chance for improper use, and hopefully lead to their best possible outcome!

Does Pharmacy Medication Counseling really help?  Share your answer in the comment section below!

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