By Lauren Castle, PharmD, MS – Founder & CEO, FMPhA.org
In the fields of anti-aging, integrative, and functional medicine, pharmacists have long been sought after as members of the patient care team, particularly for their unique scope of practice to compound customized medications for patients. But in recent years, the role of the pharmacist on functional medicine care teams has expanded well beyond the compounding counter.
Here are seven ways pharmacists can offer functional medicine services to help patients take charge of their health:
1. Deprescribing: Identify and assist with carefully titrating and stopping medications that are no longer needed.
2. Functional Medication Therapy Management: Optimize each patient’s medication & supplement regimen through a comprehensive medication review.
3. Drug-Supplement Interactions: Screen for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions to ensure all medications and supplement work together safely.
4. Drug-Nutrient Depletions: Evaluate the individual and collective effect of drug-induced nutrient depletions and replace vital nutrients and cofactors to minimize adverse effects while balancing nutrient levels.
5. Pharmacogenomics: Provide personalized medicine by evaluating the patient’s unique genetic makeup and how their genome influences the response to medications.
6. Mind the MEDS: Mindfulness, Exercise, Diet, & Sleep are just as important as taking medications and supplements as recommended. Pharmacists can counsel on lifestyle changes to support the patient’s health goals.
7. Professional Grade Supplements: Quality Matters! Pharmacists can help select the best supplements for each patient based on their individual needs and budget.
As functional medicine moves into the mainstream, it is crucial for practitioners to work collaboratively with pharmacists to improve patient outcomes as well as access to care. To facilitate this, A4M and FMPhA are proud to partner together to support the advancement of pharmacists in functional medicine.
Practitioners, to find a pharmacist near you, visit https://fmpha.org/members/
Pharmacists, to become a member, visit www.fmpha.org/membership
Founded in 2017, the Functional Medicine Pharmacists Alliance is the first association representing pharmacists in functional medicine. FMPhA supports pharmacists practicing functional medicine across all pharmacy settings by uniting leaders in the field to provide continuing education, business training, networking, events, and advocacy. FMPhA recognizes that ‘a pill for every ill’ is not the solution to chronic disease and that pharmacists are the most accessible yet underutilized healthcare providers. FMPhA seeks to unite pharmacists, patients, practitioners, and organizations in our mission to integrate pharmacy and functional medicine.