Student Profile: Wayne Chen '15
Vision of a Pharmacy
My ideal pharmacy would be one that encompasses an entire health center. It would be in an urban environment, where many young professionals and students are, like San Diego, San Francisco, or LA. The people here are likely extremely busy, and can really benefit from having all the resources in one place. For many working people, the idea of staying healthy simultaneously putting much of their work into their jobs is unrealistic. The idea behind my pharmacy is that it is a lot more than just receiving medications, and there would be a huge focus on preventative care, that can help everyone lead more productive lives.
With many young adults, there isn't likely to be too many chronic problems, and many of the problems can be prevented from worsening with the right lifestyle changes. One big element would be a gym. However, the focus will not be on how you look or even how much you can lift, it will be based on personal preference but use numbers like BMI to help record progress. A long with the gym would be a nutrition bar, with food and drinks that can meet an individual's specific needs. Workout supplements can also be sold, but it will be more important to keep the focus on actual health, and not just the appearance.
In addition to physical wellness from the gym, a huge emphasis will be placed on the mental wellness. Here, a lot of counseling will take place, especially useful for those that are on any depression medications. This will serve to treat the underlying problems, rather than just be a medication for a problem. Other consultation services can also be obtained here, as this can be a highlight of patient and people interaction. While it seems like the pharmacy is just targeting people who are not underserved, or are likely to be relatively healthy in the first place, there will be a huge emphasis to use parts of the profits to help the social wellness of the community. It will help keep the medications cheaper for customers, and health fairs will be organized under the pharmacy's name in an effort to educate and bring heath care to the community. This allows people who become members to know that they are directly making an impact on the community. Another way to help the community really build up, is events and activities that help get people together. Basketball tournaments with assigned teams, and activities that can really bring people together so that they can have fun and be motivated to stay healthy.
Building a membership base while the people are younger will be a of great importance. First, it allows people to get the most cost effective health care (preventative care) which will save them tons of money later on. Also by building memberships and profiles, you can build a sense of community, and it can really benefit anyone that joins.
Ultimately, the idea here is to get the young adults thinking about it early so that much of the healthcare costs are lowered in the future, and so that people can develop good habits early on. The pharmacy seeks to make being healthy fashionable, and allows for young adults to have everything they need in one place for themselves, and even get cheaper medication for their elders in the same spot. While the financials are certainly a huge barrier to figure out, I would very much like to make this a dream come true.
An Innovative Pain Management Program
Our patient, Raich, is experiencing chronic pain and muscle spasms that are endangering her life. It appears that conventional methods of relieving chronic pain and muscle spasms are not working for her. This is not surprising as many drugs neuropathic drugs tend to vary a lot through each patient, and using combinations of them usually result in more side effects.
For non-pharmacological ways that our pharmacy can help, we offer physical therapy. This can help solve the source of the problem, and break out of the muscle spasms, which may even be part of the cause of the chronic pain. It also saves the patient from needing to experience any side effects that inevitably come from drugs. Sometimes, medication is not necessarily the answer.
However, if physical therapy does not work, a new alternative that she can certainly take is to get a prescription for Marinol. I can educate the patient that the ingredient is very similar to the active ingredient in marijuana. However, since it is taken orally, the effects would be slightly different, and the absorption would be as well. When smoking marijuana, it is inhaled into the lungs, and goes directly into the blood stream. Because it by passes the first pass effect, or the metabolism from the liver, the effects are more immediate and potent. This can potentially lead to more side effects. Marinol however, is ingested, and is not fully absorbed. It would be the equivalent of baking marijuana into food, however it is in a pill form solubilized by sesame oil. The onset of the effects will generally take much longer, usually in a couple of hours.
This therapy can be used for anyone else who . While the use and safety of marijuana is highly controversial, there have been many studies done regarding the active ingredient in it: tetrahydrocannabinol. For legal reasons however, it may be best to try out Marinol as a legal alternative that will have very similar effects because it will have active ingredient in its pure form. However, if the chronic pain and muscle spasms still persist to the level where it is endangering her life, she may just need to continue using marijuana, as Marinol is not a therapeutic equivalent. It is just a drug with the same active ingredients but taken orally instead of through inhalation.
The two therapies can also be used in conjunction to help her deal with the pain as she works on solving the potential main problems through physical therapy. While it is debatable whether she needs the marijuana or not, most doctors and people would agree that it would be best if we can help her get rid of the source of the pain, rather than treating the pain with medication on a daily basis. This idea applies to most other medications, as well as any other patients experiencing the same issues Raich is experiencing.