3 Exotic Diseases Pharmacists Should Know

DECEMBER 09, 2015
Allison Gilchrist, Associate Editor
Pharmacists should learn how to properly diagnose foreign-acquired diseases in order to optimize outcomes for infected patients.
During a session at the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear meeting, panelists gave attendees a crash course on how to identify certain exotic diseases and described optimal treatments for each.
Elizabeth Giesler, PharmD, BCPS, an emergency medicine clinical pharmacist for the John Peter Smith Health Network, told attendees that while these diseases are rarely seen in US emergency departments, health-system pharmacists might nevertheless encounter them during their careers.
“It’s important to recognize these diseases and know what you need to help them, [but] you don’t need to be an expert,” she said.
Pharmacists can also play a role in preventing these diseases by reminding patients that they must follow their entire prescribed regimen when taking drugs prior to travel.
Pharmacists’ training, skills, and knowledge afford them opportunities to expand their services to offer health information to travelers, who are often ill prepared for the health risks.
The following are some exotic diseases primarily coming from Southeast Asia that pharmacists should know: