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Veterans Health Administration

VA Pharmacists Play Key Role in Veterans Health Care

pharmacist at a service window helps a young Veteran

 

A fact of contemporary health care: medications serve as the mainstay of therapies to treat and prevent illness and disease.

For the last 20 years, VA has adapted to the increased role medications play by expanding the authority of its pharmacist practitioners to prescribe medications and manage chronic disease in an enhanced role as Clinical Pharmacy Specialists.

VA Clinical Pharmacy Specialists are health professionals trained to understand different medications, how they work, and their effects on patients.

VA Clinical Pharmacy Specialists employ modern pharmaceuticals to improve the health of Veterans in many ways, including:

  • Practicing direct patient care, through pharmacist-run clinics that focus on medication management for Veterans’ chronic health issues, including blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, heart failure, anticoagulation, and pain management.
  • Working closely with physicians, nurses, and other health care providers to prescribe, monitor, and optimize Veteran patients’ drug therapy while reducing medication risks.
  • Counseling Veterans to help them understand how to get the most benefit from their medications.

“VA pharmacists help Veterans understand their medications and how to take them.”

Veterans can contact their local VA medical center (VAMC) to schedule an appointment to meet a pharmacy professional to discuss medication concerns or questions.

As medication experts, VA clinical pharmacists can work with you to:

  • Talk about medications and what they do, along with potential side effects.
  • Watch for possible allergies and drug interactions.
  • Counsel you on the proper way to take and store your medications.
  • Coordinate drug therapy with physicians, nurses, and other health care providers
  • Provide recommendations based on clinical findings.
  • Follow-up on how you’re doing with sticking to your medication regimen.
  • Evaluate your health and medication history.
  • Measure physical signs and symptoms connected to your prescriptions.

Manage and Order Prescriptions Online — Sign Up!

Veterans who receive their health care at a VA facility can request online refills of their VA medications anytime, through a web-based program called My HealtheVet.

My HealtheVet provides an electronic alternative for Veterans to manage their medication refills and review other health information in their own time and with ease.

Veterans can register with My HealtheVet and create a secure individual profile where their VA-specific health information is entered and organized electronically.

In addition to prescription refills, MyHealtheVet offers an upgraded account with additional features such as:

  • Prescription refill history.
  • Self-entered medications, herbals, over-the-counter medications and supplements.
  • VA medications list.
  • Complete medications list (VA and self-entered medications).
  • Vital signs (blood pressure, weight, etc.).
  • Food and activity journals.
  • Health history.
  • Family health history.

Mail Delivery of Maintenance Medications

VA’s Consolidated Mail-Out Pharmacies (CMOPs) allow centralized filling, packaging, and distribution of Veterans’ prescriptions at seven automated facilities across the nation. Veteran patients maintain their relationship with their local VA medical center while the CMOP does the prescription fulfillment. This allows clinical pharmacists at local VAMCs to dedicate more time to spend with Veterans in direct patient care and counseling.

Mail delivery of routine medications also encourages patients’ compliance with their medication regimens as prescriptions are sent directly to Veterans.

Emergency Pharmacy Services

VA mobile pharmacies bring critical care and convenience to Veterans in emergency situations who do not have access to a VA Medical Center. These travelling pharmacy units have serviced Veterans in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, ensuring the delivery of needed medications and care.

For additional information and questions pertaining to your drug therapy, or for other medical questions, contact your health care provider located at the VA facility where you receive care.