Polypharmacy is a huge topic in the healthcare field. Many patients today have the belief that we are all over-medicated and for this reason some patients feel as if they can not trust certain healthcare professionals. This article takes into consideration the idea of polypharmacy and the physicians’ inability to locate and interpret the wealth of drug information that exists. It’s a huge challenge to take so many different studies or clinical trials and compile this information into clinically relevant guidelines. The article states that a physician may spend a mean time of 29 hours per week reading relevant journal articles. Drug Information Centers or DICs have now been established that are staffed by pharmacists and other drug specialists to aid in the answering of drug-related questions. These centers take the patients’ comorbidities, organ function, and other specific patient characteristics into consideration when providing information to healthcare providers.
I think Drug Information Centers are a great tool for physician use. It is absolutely imperative that each member of the healthcare team understands the implications of the amount of drugs available on the market today versus a few decades ago. While clinical guidelines do exist, drug therapy should remain as a case-by-case basis where the healthcare professional takes individual’s characteristics into consideration when selecting appropriate treatment. How do you think the pharmacist can better assert themselves as the “drug expert” of the healthcare team? We need to act as a liaison between the patient and doctor, but this isn’t always an easy or recognized role.
Reppe L, Spigset O, Schjott J. Drug Information Services Today: current role and future perspectives in rational drug therapy. Elsevier B.V. 2015.