A report from the Japanese Society of Drug Informatics Forum: The role of pharmacists providing self-care
Keywords:Pharmacy Education, Role of Pharmacists, Self-Care
Background: Self-care is vital to sustain national healthy living. Community pharmacists in Japan are expected to have an extended role in this area. However, education and training for pharmacists to support self-care in Japan lacks a consistent approach. Presenting experiences from Great Britain (GB), where the role of pharmacists in self-care has been strategically extended and has gradually reformed pharmacy education to meet these needs, at a forum collaboratively held by two academic societies in Japan, relevant issues were addressed attempting to provide possible guidance for further development in effective self-care support by pharmacists in Japan.
Aims and Methods: Aimed to provide summary of the information presented at the forum and consider issues to be addressed for improving the provision of self-care services by pharmacists in Japan. The current report was built on interviews with pharmacists across sectors and reviews of relevant information.
Results: Self-care activities cover diverse health management to various extents of healthcare professional support in a self-care continuum. Pharmacists in GB have an important role to sustain self-care in their community with varied medicines available at pharmacy. In order to prepare pharmacists to meet the societal needs, educational reforms have been undertaken at pre- and post-registration stages, using integrated approaches to competency-based education for continuing professional development.
Discussion: Examples from GB addressed wider opportunities to meet the expectation in this area: pharmaceutical services at all levels of the self-care continuum while meeting locally specific health needs. For maximising the effective use of pharmacy only medicines, better collaboration with other health care professionals appears to be crucial. The consistent and seamless education using the developmental frameworks for professional development in GB is likely to assist further development of Japanese pharmacists through country specific adaptation.
Conclusion: Sharing examples from GB provides guidance and opportunities to consider further development of relevant issues in Japan. Comprehensive workforce and service planning in collaboration with leadership bodies is required to prepare pharmacists to best provide self-care support.
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