In this era of managed care, with its emphasis on improving
patient outcomes while also reducing costs, the pharmaceutical
industry is a significant partner in health care delivery. The
health needs of our growing elderly population also place
pharmacists in a pivotal role.
The disease management models for treating chronic conditions
such as diabetes and congestive heart failure revolve around
medication management and lifestyle improvement, two areas in which
pharmacists can directly influence patient compliance. Pharmacists
also collaborate closely with medical professionals in identifying
the most appropriate therapies for individual patients, and also
take the lead in designing more effective drugs.
There is no question that medical science has made great strides
in addressing the causes of many illnesses. But, inequalities in
access to health care still exist in the
world and in our country. U.S. Census Bureau data show that the
number of Americans without health insurance continues to climb and
is approximately 47 million, with about 8 million of those being
children. Studies have found that eight out of ten of the uninsured
are in working families that cannot afford health insurance and do
not qualify for public programs. The resulting lack of primary care
causes staggering health problems.
The consequences of this situation are magnified in our cities,
and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, with its
long-standing ties to New York City, has chosen as a special focus
addressing the health needs of the urban poor.