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How Pharmacists Can Improve Our Nation’s Health

Presented on .

The expanded role of 21st century pharmacists will position them to have greater impact in the shifting landscape of health care and public health. Beyond the dispensing of medications, pharmacists also provide a spectrum of prevention services to help improve health outcomes. In the United States, people with chronic conditions account for 91% of all prescriptions filled.  By 2020, it is estimated that 157 million Americans will have at least 1 chronic non-infectious or infectious medical condition. By understanding and maximizing the role of pharmacists, opportunities exist to better use their knowledge and skills to improve our nation’s health.

New collaborative care models identify pharmacists as important contributors to the healthcare team. Enhanced training equips pharmacists with the necessary skills to provide a variety of preventive care and wellness services–increasing access to care for patients. For public health, incorporating pharmacists in team-based care increases patient awareness of the importance of medication adherence and further encourages and supports behavior change and self-management of many chronic illnesses and diseases.

In this session of Public Health Grand Rounds our speakers illustrated the impact of including pharmacists in team-based care, shared tools that CDC has developed to facilitate incorporating pharmacists in public health initiatives, and provided examples of how pharmacists are working in healthcare settings to prevent and manage diseases.

Beyond the Data

Dr. John Iskander and Dr. Lori Hall explore the impact of pharmacists on health care and public health when included as contributors to a patient’s healthcare team.


  • Tend to be underutilized, despite their training and experience
  • Are medication experts, but they do more than just dispense medication

Involving pharmacists in expanded roles:

  • Increases the quality of care
  • Improves patient control of disorders and illnesses
  • Reduces healthcare cost
Presented By
CDR Michael Lee, PharmD, NCPS, BCPS
Director, Pharmacy
Claremore Indian Hospital
Anne Burns, RPh, BS
Vice President, Professional Affairs
American Pharmacists Association
Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, BCPS, CDE
Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science
University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
CDR Lori E. Hall, PharmD
President, CDC Pharmacists Work Group
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC
Facilitated By
John Iskander, MD, MPH
Scientific Director
Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH
Deputy Scientific Director
Susan Laird, MSN, RN
Communications Director
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Page last reviewed: February 28, 2018
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