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Editorial
October 2, 2002

Pharmacist Care and Clinical Outcomes for Patients With Reactive Airways Disease

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 2002;288(13):1642-1643. doi:10.1001/jama.288.13.1642

In recent years, pharmacists have received increasingly sophisticated clinical training. Given the well known and well publicized recognition of widespread problems induced by use of medications,1 pharmacists' skills represent an enormous potential resource to improve drug therapy. To that end, interest and expectation that pharmacists provide "pharmaceutical care" services has increased.2 Such models vary dramatically and include collaborative prescribing agreements,3 participation in interdisciplinary inpatient care teams,4,5 disease-state management programs,6 anticoagulation clinics,7 and routine functions like monitoring symptoms, providing medication counseling, helping resolve drug-related problems, and facilitating communication with physicians. Federally mandated drug utilization review in ambulatory settings and drug regimen review in skilled nursing facilities indicate at least partial acceptance of such functions by legislators.8 Pharmacists' scope of practice has even been the subject of formal policy statements by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.9 Yet to date, there have been remarkably few rigorous studies of the effectiveness of various models of pharmaceutical care, particularly in outpatient settings.

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