American College of Clinical Pharmacy
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Clinical Pharmacy Defined

An abridged and unabridged definition of Clinical Pharmacy are detailed below. For a more in-depth look at the motivations behind the definitions, you can view an official document by clicking the link below.

   Clinical Pharmacy Defined

Abridged Version

The area of pharmacy concerned with the science and practice of rational medication use.

Unabridged Version

Clinical Pharmacy is a health science discipline in which pharmacists provide patient care that optimizes medication therapy and promotes health, wellness, and disease prevention. The practice of clinical pharmacy embraces the philosophy of pharmaceutical care; it blends a caring orientation with specialized therapeutic knowledge, experience, and judgment for the purpose of ensuring optimal patient outcomes. As a discipline, clinical pharmacy also has an obligation to contribute to the generation of new knowledge that advances health and quality of life.

Clinical pharmacists care for patients in all health care settings. They possess in-depth knowledge of medications that is integrated with a foundational understanding of the biomedical, pharmaceutical, sociobehavioral, and clinical sciences. To achieve desired therapeutic goals, the clinical pharmacist applies evidence-based therapeutic guidelines, evolving sciences, emerging technologies, and relevant legal, ethical, social, cultural, economic and professional principles. Accordingly, clinical pharmacists assume responsibility and accountability for managing medication therapy in direct patient care settings, whether practicing independently or in consultation/collaboration with other health care professionals. Clinical pharmacist researchers generate, disseminate, and apply new knowledge that contributes to improved health and quality of life.

Within the system of health care, clinical pharmacists are experts in the therapeutic use of medications. They routinely provide medication therapy evaluations and recommendations to patients and health care professionals. Clinical pharmacists are a primary source of scientifically valid information and advice regarding the safe, appropriate, and cost-effective use of medications.