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March 5, 2003

Pharmacist Care for Reactive Airway DiseasePharmacist Care for Reactive Airway Disease

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(9):1103-1106. doi:10.1001/jama.289.9.1103-a

To the Editor: We are concerned that the study by Dr Weinberger and colleagues1 failed to evaluate pharmaceutical care programs in a meaningful way. Such care represents a shift from a product (drug distribution) focus to patient care, which includes taking responsibility for therapeutic outcomes.2 This study used a compulsory program that is inconsistent with professionalism of pharmacists. Such professionalism involves pharmacists' acceptance of the responsibility for patient's drug therapy outcomes. In the study of Weinberger et al, the pharmacists appear to have not accepted the role intended for them. Program activities were documented in only 25% of the visits, and many of these may have been performed only grudgingly. In defense of the pharmacists, implementing a pharmaceutical care program in a traditional dispensing role has been described as being "equivalent to changing into a new suit of clothes while riding a bicycle down Main Street (while reading a therapeutics book)."3 Chain pharmacies, such as those in this study, require comprehensive reorganization for successful implementation of pharmaceutical care programs.

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