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Consultant Pharmacy

Consultant pharmacy practice focuses more on mediation regimen review (i.e. "cognitive services") than on actual dispensing of drugs. Consultant pharmacists most typically work in nursing homes, but are increasingly branching into other institutions and non-institutional settings. A consultant pharmacist is a specialized pharmacist. Consultant pharmacists give consultation on various issues


Consultant pharmacist practice in a wide variety of settings, including subacute care and assisted living facilities, psychiatric hospitals, hospice programs, and in home and community-based care wherever seniors reside. Consultant pharmacists are defined by their common commitment to enhance the quality of care for all older persons through the appropriate use of medication and promotion of healthy aging. 


The Approach to Practice

Consultant pharmacists, once relegated to reviewing nursing facility resident’s charts in back rooms or offices, are today interacting directly with residents, caregivers, and primary care providers. Those consultants who have been involved in practice long enough to see the evolution of their role can easily recognize the positive effects that hands-on pharmacist services are having on patient care.

Pharmacists have grown to realize that people are different in real life from the way they appear in a medical record. They are aware that diseases and patient response to pharmacotherapy are frequently individual and not entirely “textbook,” especially in the elderly. Because of this, consultant pharmacists must evaluate each resident as a whole person. Residents must be considered holistically, rather than as several unrelated organ systems or simply by their list of medications.

Today, the roles and practice environments for consultant pharmacists have progressed far beyond what the most optimistic consultant pharmacist would have predicted 20 years ago. The most innovative consultants are providing advanced services including patient care tools, disease management protocols, software development, laboratory services, nutrition services, and clinical research.


Services provided by a consultant pharmacist

The consultant provides services that are both recognized and valued by patients and facilities: These include: 

  • Disease assessment/management

  • Drug regimen review

  • Drug research programs

  • Durable medical equipment (DME)

  • Intravenous therapy services

  • Medication management

  • Nutrition assessment & support services

  • Patient counseling

  • Pharmacokinetic dosing services

  • Physical assessment


In addition, it is as important to continue to provide other information and education services. These could include:

  • Computer-generated forms and reports

  • Drug information

  • Enteral feeding products

  • Home diagnostic services

  • In-service education programs

  • Medical/surgical supplies

  • Medication delivery systems

  • Outpatient compliance packaging

  • Policy & procedure development

  • Quality assurance programs


    To read more in detail about  Consultant Pharmacy where this information was gathered from please visit the American Society of Consultants Page (ASCP) page. 


    In a pharmacy residency:

The purpose of this specialty residency is to provide intensive training in all aspects of drug information including literature retrieval and evaluation, Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee support, medication use policies and processes, drug information service management, and medication safety. The resident may gain experience with regard to investigational drug services, institutional review board activity, formulary management, pharmaco-economic evaluations, outcomes research, newsletter publication, adverse drug reaction reporting, drug-use evaluation activity, and clinical practice guideline development, etc. Residents will be equipped to practice in any position that requires superior written and verbal communication and literature evaluation skills.



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