DHEC Celebrates Pharmacists on National Pharmacist Day

Pharmacists are among the most trusted members of our health care system. They not only check and dispense medications that their patients need, but they also offer advice on medicine dosages side effects, and the effectiveness of drug therapies. Patients often see their pharmacist more often than their primary care physician.  

Every year on January 12 we take a moment to thank pharmacists for providing medications to keep us healthy and offering advice on over-the-counter drugs.    

DHEC’s Bureau of Drug Control and the Office of Pharmacy provide care, education and oversight in our state.  

Bureau of Drug Control
The Bureau of Drug Control’s
 pharmacists, known as Drug Control Agents, are also commissioned state law enforcement officers. The role of a Drug Control Agent has two main focuses – regulatory and enforcement. Agents monitor controlled-substance activity in our state by conducting regulatory inspections, audits and educating pharmacists and healthcare providers. Agents also investigate crimes involving controlled substance diversion in South Carolina.  

The Bureau is also responsible for administering the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), which is directed by a pharmacist. The PMP is intended to improve the state’s ability to identify and stop the diversion of prescription drugs without impeding on the appropriate medical utilization of licit controlled substances. The PMP provides a clinical decision support making tool to providers when writing for controlled substance prescriptions. The PMP further analyzes dispensation data and identifies current trends across the state to target educational efforts.  

Office of Pharmacy
The DHEC Office of Pharmacy is responsible for the operational, professional and clinical activities associated with the provision of pharmaceuticals through the agency’s public health departments to DHEC patients. DHEC region pharmacy staff members provide a level of pharmaceutical care that supports the agency mission and meets the needs of patients.  

Additionally, the Office of Pharmacy and region pharmacy staff have a significant role in DHEC’s efforts to combat the opioid overdose crisis and save lives in South Carolina.  DHEC pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are engaged in the statewide provision of the opioid overdose-reversing drug, naloxone (commonly known as Narcan), to DHEC health departments in all 46 counties, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and substance disorder treatment facilities.    

DHEC would like to acknowledge and thank South Carolina’s pharmacists for their dedication to keeping the community healthy and safe.

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