Magazine article Drug Topics

Trendsetter

Magazine article Drug Topics

Trendsetter

Article excerpt

R.Ph. details doctors to boost pharmacy care practice

The woman is a newly diagnosed HIV patient. She seems overwhelmed by the drugs arrayed in front of her. With her social worker beside her, she listens intently as the pharmacist explains how and when she should take her medications.

The woman came to Zive Pharmacy & Surgical Inc. in the Bronx, N.Y., because that pharmacist, Joel Zive, had made a detailing call on her social worker two weeks earlier. Impressed with what he heard, the social worker decided to follow up on the young pharmacist's invitation to visit.

Such patient consultation is at the heart of Zive's vision. He's determined to build a practice on the pharmaceutical care model. To do that, he spends two days a week detailing doctors and others who can refer patients to his pharmacy. And he recently held a focus group for doctors, nurses, and social workers at a nearby hospital. On a typical doctor-detailing day, he makes five or six visits. His record is 11 stops in one day. By checking his Rx records, he pinpoints high prescribers in his pharmacy's trade area. He then calls their offices to set up appointment times throughout the day. During the day, he frequently pops back into the pharmacy to check on how things are going. And, of course, he carries the standard-issue equipment of a mobile executive-a beeper and a cell phone.

Another important tool of Zive's new trade is his "detail bag"-an oversized attache case. As a former drug sales rep, he knows how important it is to hand something useful to the doctors. Instead of drug samples, he now stuffs the bag with brochures, discount coupons for his asthma counseling service, and copies of clinical articles. He also keeps handy his own disease management credentials and curriculum vitae, as well as his technician's credentials. He invites each physician to stop by the pharmacy to check out his patient consultation room, which is under construction.

Zive is a "pathfinder" among pharmacists, said Theodore Spevack, a physician in a walk-in urgent care facility. "In our area, we have a high number of HIV patients, who are on complicated, multiple medications with complicated interactions that are difficult to take without getting significant side effects," he said. …

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