Functions and Responsibilities of Clinical Pharmacist

Functions and Responsibilities of Clinical  Pharmacist

Taking the medication history of the patient: A clinical pharmacist must take and maintain the medication history of the patient by interacting with him. He should document the hypersensitivities or allergies to certain drugs, food habits, drug dependence or intoxications with chemicals, side effects of some drugs, incorrect drug administration, etc. This will help in saving physicians’ efforts and will result in faster and more accurate therapy.

Drug interactions: Many OTC drugs have the potential to interact with prescription drugs. After receiving the prescription, the pharmacist should check the drug interaction and patients’ habits with the help of the patient’s historical record.

Selection of proper drug therapy: Clinical pharmacists can assist in the selection of a  proper drug product/ generic formulation, depending on the considerations of bioavailability and bioequivalence of such products.

Drug monitoring: Clinical pharmacists can help in monitoring drug therapy for safety and efficacy. Therapeutic drug monitoring is very essential for those drugs with a narrow therapeutic index or those which are administered chronically. He can also help in determining various pharmacokinetic parameters based on plasma concentration of drugs, enzymes, and measurement of glucose levels in the blood.

Adverse drug reaction: Patients with hepatic disorders or kidney impairment are more prone to adverse drug reactions. Patients having more than one pathological complaint with multiple drug therapy generally face such problems. Clinical pharmacists can help in the detection, prevention, and reporting of adverse drug reactions.  He can suggest a physician for alternate therapy wherever necessary.

Management of drug policies: Clinical pharmacists can participate in formulating health and drug policies and serve as sources of information for healthcare professionals and the public. They are responsible for drug management which includes their selection, requirement, procurement, distribution, and use.

Research and development programs: The clinical pharmacist can participate in research for the development of various formulations, particularly in the biological availability of active ingredients. He can help in conducting clinical trials based on sound principles of bio-statistical methods of evaluation.

Drug information: Clinical pharmacist has the knowledge and expertise to provide detailed information on medicines to members of the health profession and the public.  Through effective selection, utilization, and retrieval of drug literature, he can communicate with the healthcare team. He can abstract the information from periodic bulletins or newsletters and provide the same to physicians on matters about pharmacokinetics and dynamics of drugs.


In this way, the clinical pharmacist is patient-oriented and deals with the rationale of drug therapy. Participates in patient education programs, drug use profiles, research and development programs of the hospital, etc. apart from many other activities. Hence, a  clinical pharmacist can maintain his daily routine with the following duties: 

Assist in pharmacokinetic consultation with necessary follow-up. 

Monitors drug therapy schedules. 

Takes rounds with the ‘Health Care Team’. 

Teaching pharmacy students.

Patient counseling. 

Review of hospital pharmacy. 

Preparing drug monographs to be reviewed by the pharmacy and therapeutic committee. 

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