Expanding the Role of the Pharmacist

  • Nicola J. Gray
  • Jonathan Burton
  • Roisin Campbell
  • Janet E. McDonagh


Self-management is integral to transitional care for adolescents and young adults with special healthcare needs (AYASHCN), and medication management is a task that will be essential for most chronic illnesses. The pharmacist is an underused resource in the transitional care team, despite their custodianship of most medicinal products. In this chapter, we explore the current and potential roles of pharmacists in the care of AYASHCN. Pharmacists in hospital, ambulatory care, and retail/community settings have complementary roles. Their practice context is different—hospital pharmacists are generally more integrated into clinic teams. Community pharmacists are generalist healthcare providers who can facilitate development of generic healthcare skills, and they can provide continuity to AYASHCN and their families when transfer of care occurs. We propose that hospital pharmacists should be more involved in helping AYASHCN to develop effective medication management skills and that AYASHCN should be encouraged to find an empathetic community pharmacist at an early point in transition planning. We present a number of examples of innovation.


Chronic disease Pharmacy Adolescent Young adult Transition to adult care Medication therapy management Community pharmacy services Hospital pharmacy service Special healthcare needs 



The authors would like to thank Dr Heather Schumann, Clinical Pharmacist at Sutter Health in Northern California, for reviewing this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola J. Gray
    • 1
  • Jonathan Burton
    • 2
  • Roisin Campbell
    • 3
  • Janet E. McDonagh
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Green Line Consulting LimitedManchesterUK
  2. 2.Right Medicine PharmacyUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK
  3. 3.Pharmacy DepartmentMusgrave Park HospitalBelfastUK
  4. 4.Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Faculty of BiologyMedicine and Health and NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Centre, University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  5. 5.Manchester University NHS TrustManchester Academic Health Science CentreManchesterUK

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