This edition of FP Essentials™ covers a topic that is certain to be familiar to every family physician: prescribing drugs. A majority of us probably accomplish this common task through a few clicks in the electronic health record, rather than a scrawl across a prescription pad. However, the core skills are the same now as they long have been. We have to know what condition we are managing, how the drug affects that disease or condition, if there are drug-drug interactions, and how the drug affects the human body. Just as importantly, we have to know how patients get their drugs, what they cost, and what the patient thinks about that particular therapy.
You also may be introduced to some new concepts in this edition. Section One addresses comanagement of patients with clinical pharmacists. This section discusses how having an embedded pharmacist is more common in family medicine residency programs than outside of training programs, and that approximately 25% of family physicians who responded to a survey reported working with pharmacists.1 In addition to discussing the benefits and scope of practice of pharmacists, Section One covers reimbursement models for integrating clinical pharmacists into team-based models of care.
Section Two covers new drug information, including the approval process for new drugs and some recently approved drugs. Section Three discusses drug-drug interactions and their consequences. Section Four addresses polypharmacy and the process of starting and deprescribing drugs.
I hope you find this edition of FP Essentials useful in your practice.
Kate Rowland, MD, FAAFP, Associate Medical Editor
Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Rush University, Chicago, Illinois