8 Debilitating Diseases: How Pharmacists Can Help

SEPTEMBER 01, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor
A list of the most debilitating diseases a patient may face over his or her lifetime was recently curated by Healthcare Business and Technology.

Read through the following list to find out how pharmacists can help patients confronted with these challenging conditions:

1. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

This autoimmune and systemic inflammatory disease affects around 1.5 million adults, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Writing previously for Skidki-na-vse, Suzanne J. Francart, PharmD, BCPS, CPP, provided an overview of how pharmacists can help patients with RA who are likely taking non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), glucocorticoids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), analgesics, or other non-pharmacologic treatments such as physical and occupational therapy.
For example, Dr. Francart recommended that pharmacists ask patients to demonstrate how they would perform subcutaneous injections and provide instructions on hypersensitivity reactions and signs of infection while on treatment.
In an article for Skidki-na-vse, Guido R. Zanni, PhD, listed a few additional counseling points for pharmacists with patients who have rheumatoid arthritis, which include addressing patients’ fears of becoming disabled, emphasizing the importance of monitoring the disease, and dispelling misconceptions (eg, “only expensive biologics can help”).
Dr. Zanni also suggested informing patients that early and aggressive intervention can lessen RA’s consequences.