Clinical Pharmacists: The new front line

The government has met its target a year early to deliver 26,000 more primary care staff,1 including clinical pharmacists. Ross MacPhee, Business Development Director at CHASE  shows industry that they can engage with this rising role more effectively.  

Clinical Pharmacists play a key role in managing patients with multiple conditions and medications in primary care. They can reduce the need for GP appointments by 30%.2 With the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) funding 70% of their salaries, the number of Clinical Pharmacists operating in Primary Care continues to increase to significant volumes. This workforce expansion is creating an increasingly important stakeholder group for pharma to engage. 

So, what are the challenges for Clinical Pharmacists and how can pharma engage with them effectively? 

The Clinical Pharmacist role

Clinical Pharmacists enable more patients to be seen and treated effectively and safely. Their responsibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • Patient identification & prioritisation 
  • Medication reviews, particularly in high-risk groups of people. 
  • Review of repeat prescriptions, leading on evidence-based changes in prescribing. 
  • Design and implementation of patient pathways. 
  • Act as prescribing leads advising on medicines to be used in conjunction with guidelines. 
  • Support for transfer of care e.g. reconciliation of medications post discharge from hospital. 

Challenges for Clinical Pharmacists in long term conditions

A challenge in long term conditions is the number of new therapies available. “There are so many products and it’s such an exciting but fast-paced moving market”, comments one Lead Clinical Pharmacist interviewed for this article. “I need to make sure my team and I are up to date so we can have a meaningful conversation with patients at their medicines reviews or if something needs to be changed. I think newer pharmacists would struggle with starting new therapies and understanding what a model annual therapy review for a patient looks like.” 

How to engage effectively with Clinical Pharmacists

Peer-to-peer conversation can be particularly helpful for Clinical Pharmacists as they grow into their roles. In response, CHASE has introduced Pharmacist Partnership Managers, qualified clinical pharmacists with a promotional remit to engage with NHS Clinical Pharmacists. 

This service had been delivered across 4 years and with multiple pharmaceutical customers with consistently great effect and impact. 

Customer feedback on the new roles is extremely positive. “Pharmacists will almost always see me again,” reports one CHASE Pharmacist Partnership Manager. “The fact that I’m a healthcare professional means I can talk to my customers on their level; I think the pharmacists I engage with can see that.  

The role can have an important influence on patient care too. “Highlighting patient need is a major benefit of our role. We are able to create urgency about the need to review patients who need to be reviewed. Often pharmacists will refer to specialist nurses because they don’t feel confident in a therapy area. Speaking with me, as a fellow pharmacist, gives them a great level of understanding and confidence about the use of our medicines, so more patients can benefit.” 

New role to engage Clinical Pharmacists

CHASE’s Pharmacist Partnership Managers have a promotional remit to help Clinical Pharmacists and other relevant HCPs understand specific products and how to use them appropriately.    

  • Qualified pharmacists outsourced by CHASE. 
  • A promotional role to engage NHS Clinical Pharmacists. 
  • Experience and empathy as pharmacists quickly build relationships and access. 
  • Significant and meaningful engagements on a peer-to-peer level. 
  • Repeat engagement is high. 

Find out more about CHASE Pharmacist Partnership Managers, Speak to Ross today!

Ross MacPhee
Business Development Director
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