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Meet John. John is a Type I diabetic who has been taking his insulin the same since he was diagnosed as a child. When his blood sugar began dropping below normal ranges, John's doctor changed the way he took his insulin. Unfortunately, John did not completely understand the changes and as a result his blood sugar remained uncontrolled. On John's monthly visit to his pharmacy, he confided in his pharmacist that he was confused and did not know the correct way to take his insulin. After an hour of detailed conversation with his pharmacist, John left his pharmacy confident in his abilities to correctly administer his insulin and better manage his diabetes. John's story is just one example of how a pharmacist consistently betters their patient's health.

Your pharmacist works daily for you on your prescriptions, but they do not stop there. This past spring, pharmacists from across the state rallied together in support of legislation to prevent the company that regulates your prescription benefits from overcharging you for medications. Currently, pharmacists are lobbying for the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act. If passed, this legislation will allow pharmacists to offer more accessible services to senior patients in medically underserved areas, especially those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure. This bill has the opportunity to drastically increase healthcare access in Arkansas, as 73 out of 75 of our counties are considered medically underserved. U.S. Reps. French Hill, Steve Womack, Bruce Westerman and Sen. John Boozman have co-sponsored this legislation, recognizing the need of improving the health of Arkansans.

A pharmacist's job is no longer just dispensing your medications. Your pharmacist has the necessary training to help educate and monitor complicated disease states, and offer preventative services, like immunizations. Ultimately, your pharmacist is an integral part of the health care team that saves you and our health care system money and improves your health outcomes. I challenge your readers to reach out to their pharmacists and explore the services they can provide for for better health.

Elizabeth Akins

Fayetteville

UAMS College of Pharmacy

Class of 2017

Editorial on 10/22/2015

Print Headline: Pharmacists prescribe legislation

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