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Drug-Related Problems: Their Structure And Function

Linda M. Strand, Peter C. Morley, Robert J. Cipolle, Ruthanne Ramsey, Grace D. Lamsam

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In order to better focus the role of the pharmacist on patient need and patient outcome, a means of categorizing drug-related problems (DRPs) is presented. A DRP exists when a patient experiences or is likely to experience either a disease or symptom having an actual or suspected relationship with drug therapy. Eight different categories of DRPs are described and examples of each category are offered. This categorization serves a number of functions, such as: (1) to illustrate how adverse drug reactions form but one category of extant DRPs, (2) to make tangible the pharmacist's role for the future, (3) to serve as a focus for developing a systematic process whereby the pharmacist contributes significantly to the overall positive outcome of patients, (4) to bring to pharmacy practice a vocabulary consistent with that of other healthcare professionals, and (5) to aid in the development of standards of practice for pharmacists.