The aim of this paper is to review pharmacy laws and regulations, pharmacist training, clinic considerations, and patient care outcomes regarding pharmacy-based travel health services in the United States. Pharmacists and pharmacies in the United States are highly visible and accessible to the public, and have long been regarded as a source for immunization services. As international travel continues to increase and grow in popularity in this country, there is a pressing need for expanded access to preventative health services, including routine and travel vaccinations, as well as medications for prophylaxis or self-treatment of conditions that may be acquired overseas. In the United States, the scope of pharmacy practice continues to expand and incorporate these preventable health services to varying degrees on a state-by-state level. A literature review was undertaken to identify published articles on pharmacist- or pharmacy-based travel health services or care in the United States. The results of this paper show that pharmacists can help to increase access to and awareness of the need for these services to ensure that patients remain healthy while traveling abroad, and that they do not acquire a travel-related disease while on their trip. For those pharmacists interested in starting a travel health service, considerations should be made to ensure that they have the necessary training, education, and skill set in order to provide this specialty level of care, and that their practice setting is optimally designed to facilitate the service. While there is little published work available on pharmacy or pharmacist-provided travel health services in the United States, outcomes from published studies are positive, which further supports the role of the pharmacist in this setting.
Hurley-Kim K, Goad J, Seed S, Hess KM. Pharmacy-based travel health services in the United States. Pharmacy. 2019;7:5. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy7010005
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