The Legal Drug Dealer Podcast

Getting Pharmacy as a profession Closer to The Patient

March 16, 2020

#14 Managing Chronic Diseases with your pharmacist

With Joy Eziaku, PharmD & Marilena Grittani, RPh

In this episode, you will have a better understanding of what clinical pharmacists do directly with the patient when they want or need help handling their chronic diseases, looking for the best results.

Dy Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD, is dedicating her professional life to help patients from all over the country (USA), educating, supporting, and adjusting the treatment of their chronic diseases.

Some of the main points discussed are:

  • What is a chronic disease
  • How a pharmacist can support patient treatment
  • Why is it so important to have the triangle approach to your treatemn: doctor, patient, and pharmacist.
  • Why are these services not covered by Medicare and most of the insurances
  • What specific activities clinical pharmacists perform to help you with you chronic diseases treatments
  • Among others.

"Basically, when a patient comes into the ICU, ... the pharmacist was actually also part of the team. What I did there I review charts I went through each patient's chart and looked at their medications and things that were critical as far as the rates of infusions..."

Dr. Joy Eziaku Aguwa, PharmD Tweet
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"Phone consultation with the pharmacist. The patient will talk to a pharmacist for 15 minutes, and we'll get a better understanding of your health challenges and your goal and we work with you in partnership for your care and we also work in partnership with your prescriber..."

Dr. Joy Eziaku Aguwa, PharmD Tweet

Dr. Joy is a focus and very passionate pharmacist caring about her patient’s and their health. She, also, knows how to explain stuff the way that we all get it!!!!! 

She offer the service also, via phone call and their number is (214) 613-2019


Let me know what you think about our conversation and if you have any questions!!!


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" A triangle relationship between the doctor is the one that diagnosis and finds out what's wrong with the patient, the pharmacist monitored the drug that is helping with that specific illness or disease and the patient is the one that is living through it."

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Episode Transcripts

Marilena Grittani, RPh  0:07  

Hola and welcome to The Legal Drug Dealer Podcast!

Marilena Grittani, RPh  0:11  

Marilena Grittani here! I am a registered pharmacist and also your host. 

Marilena Grittani, RPh  0:15  

Today I’m presenting to you Episode Number 14, which is managing chronic diseases with your pharmacist episode. My guest today is Dr. Joy Eziaku PharmD, which is a pharmacist that is dedicated her professional career to help patient manage their chronic diseases as a pharmacist; as a part of the team that will help our patients to get better with doctors and of course the patient and caregivers. 

Marilena Grittani, RPh  0:44  

This episode is going to show you another area in which pharmacists can help our patients to be more healthy and to have more education about their chronic diseases. I hope you enjoy it, and here it is. 

Marilena Grittani, RPh  0:59  

Thank you so much for coming with us. And it’s a pleasure to have you. But it’s also a very demanded conversation, that one that you and me are going to have. Because what you do, what your company does is exactly what most of our patients are needing. And I wanted to talk about it. So everybody understands that it is a possibility, and it’s an option, and that we have very smart, very driven and super effective clinical pharmacists out there to do it for them. So thank you so much for accepting my invitation.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  1:31  

Thank you. It’s an honor to be here and I appreciate you inviting me.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  1:35  

So let’s just do this. First of all, I want you to tell me a little bit why you became a pharmacist. Let’s just start with that.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  1:43  

Well, I’m naturally I love helping people. Very tender hearted about serving. So I have a nature to serve. My parents raised me that way. And that’s just in my nature. So I became a pharmacist because I love to help people and I love to serve and I am I think that encompasses who I am as a person.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  2:03  

How long ago did you graduate?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  2:06  

I actually graduated from pharmacy school in 2005 in May 2005.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  2:12  

So it’s been like 14 years,

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  2:14  

or Yes, yes, the time goes by so fast.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  2:19  

That means that you have a lot of experience already.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  2:22  

Yes, I actually, I do and before pharmacy school, I actually started pharmacy in high school. I started with eckerd drugs as a cashier and then moved on up to a pharmacy technician. So I’ve actually been in the field of pharmacy for 20 plus years. Wow.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  2:40  

Yeah. So you know a little bit about it.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  2:42  


Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  2:44  

Very good. So besides the job in eckerd, pharmacy, what other type of pharmacy job Have you have you worked on?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  2:52  

As an undergrad or from high school I did retail and then as an undergrad in pharmacy school, I worked in the hospital three out as an intern. And as far as my pharmacists career, I’ve worked in hospital. Initially I did a residency and after that residency, I worked as a manager, a clinical manager for hospital system. And then from there, I worked as an ICU pharmacist. I also have done community pharmacy and retail and managed care that have worked in different facilities, LTACs and and so forth infusion centers, so have a very wonderful opportunities and areas I’ve worked in so far.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  3:35  

You said that you work in the ICU?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  3:38  

Yes. Yes. 

Marilena Grittani, RPh  3:39  

What do you do in the ICU? Are you a nurse?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  3:44  

So as a ICU pharmacist for the hospital system I work in, we actually were on the floor. Basically, when a patient comes into the ICU, they have the nurses at the desk, but the pharmacist was actually also part of the team. What I did there I review charts I went through each patient’s chart and looked at their medications and things that were critical as far as the rates of infusions I monitored that I adjusted their medication dosage. I also helped with when the patient’s family needed pillows or blankets, so I worked not only as a pharmacist, but also to help meet the needs of the patients and their families. So it was a wonderful experience and it connected me to our nurses or physicians as well as the patients directly. That’s actually what gave me the love to kind of do what I’m doing now. Because I do believe in a multidisciplinary team approach to caring for patients.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  4:43  

And you know, when when you have somebody in the ICU, a family member, spouse or child, that is a really hard situation. And yes, it is formation as you can get as much compassion as you can get from the team that is working with your family members. your loved one. You know, people appreciate it. So thank you for doing that.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  5:04  

Absolutely. I loved it, every bit of it.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  5:07  

Good. Very good. So pharmacists are in the ICU too. Yes. Our people. Yeah. Okay. So after doing all this stuff that you’ve done, what is it that you currently do?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  5:19  

So currently, I have a company called Prime Care Health Solutions. And what we do is we provide clinical pharmacy services. And what that is, is basically services that does not have anything to do it actually dispensing drugs, and we help patients better manage medical conditions that are chronic. We also help them prevent medical conditions and patients that have been discharged from hospitals or other health care facilities. We help the transition to be smoother for them to be able to cope with who they were who they are now as opposed to who they were when they were hospitalized or whatever the case may be. So that’s what we do at private Care Health Solutions.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  6:09  

What do you mean chronic diseases? What are you talking about?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  6:13  

So chronic disease is something like, for example, a condition that is ongoing, not something that like the flu is something that would be kind of acute, you can treat it in a go away. But our chronic disease would, for example, be something like diabetes, hypertension, something that you have to take medication to control so that it doesn’t get worse. So that’s an example of what I mean by chronic versus something that is acute like the flu or the cold that can go away that is temporary.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  6:50  

And when you’re talking about preventive, what do you mean by that?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  6:54  

So preventive services that I that we provide at Prime Care Health Solutions, For example, diabetes prevention, if you are at risk for developing diabetes because of family history, or even your lifestyle, so we put into place things that you can incorporate into your daily routine, like eating better exercising, and doing more screenings, or I would say more, being more on top of your health as far as the labs and making sure you’re monitoring your your a one C, which is a lab that’s used to check for diabetes to make sure that it’s not too high. And so we when I say prevention, we try and do things that affect your lifestyle as well as your genetics so that you don’t develop a certain condition. For instance, in the case of diabetes, if your mom had it and your dad had it, there is a test that you can do to see if you’re at risk and more than likely because of the family. History you are at risk. So incorporating something or doing things like eating better exercising, managing your stress level can actually help prevent that diabetes that affected your mom or your dad or your sister. So that’s what I mean by prevention or disease prevention.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  8:19  

When the patient is adopted, that there is no records for this person to know how their family history is, we don’t know the dad if they had any diseases or not, or the grandparents or siblings. So it is very interesting to use this kind of test to identify the risks that these patients have because they basically have no history. They have no history of what they had in their genes in their genetic from their family. So it’s very interesting to use these tests for that. So that is part of medicine that we don’t think about, but the People absolutely needed and companies like yours with clinicians with the pharmacy, clinical pharmacists that you have in your company, you can work with them as well and help them out. They absolutely were interested. So tell me something, what is something that you do for the family member? When you treat a patient in your company? Let’s say that you are you get me as a patient that my mom had diabetes, and my sister did too. And I go to see you. What do you what can you provide to the family as well as the patient when you’re taking care of me?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  9:38  

So what we can provide to the family is also education, about our services and about the patient’s condition, especially if the patient gives consent for us to provide that information. So we can make sure that you’re also involved in the outcome of the care of that patient. So we educate. And we provide tools for the family member to be able to also participate in the positive outcome of that patient’s health.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  10:11  

So if you would tell my friends not to tell me to eat junk when I’m about to get diabetes, because people don’t get that you think that your brain is eating, it’s just one. And the temptation is really big. But then you know, you need to take care of your health because you don’t want to end up having the consequences of the disease. So is that part of what we can that you can provide to the family members and friends close to the patient?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  10:36  

Absolutely. We definitely encourage support from the family. And the only way that we can gauge or gain that support from the family is to educate them about the condition and the actually outcome if we don’t treat it properly. So we educate and we ask advocates for support for the patient as well. The great thing also about our program is that we also have health coaches and other team members, other people that are in the same situation as the patient. We have support groups that also encourage each other in situations where a patient may not have a family member nearby or someone a caregiver, we have that support in our in our offering. So that’s also a great thing that we offer.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  11:20  

So we’ve been away from home for work and they’re dealing with his circumstances, a company like yours will be a great support for them.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  11:28  

Absolutely. Absolutely. We have health coaches. We also work with dieticians. And so it’s all encompassing. And then we also have people in that same situation online that through support groups that help you achieve that goal.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  11:43  

Because they understand that they get it.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  11:45  

They get it. They’re in the same situation. Yeah.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  11:48  

Okay. Very good. So interesting. I love it. Thank you for doing that for our patients. Absolutely. So good. Okay, so what is it that you do on it? You and your because you do this to you also our clinical pharmacist, right?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  12:04  

I am. Yes, absolutely. And that’s my passion is patient care and patient advocacy, though? Yes, I’m actually a clinical pharmacist that works in Prime Care as well.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  12:16  

So what is it that you do on a daily basis to help the patient? Let’s just this morning, how many of what what did you do to help your patient? I just want people to understand what clinical services and what have you done to help them so they will understand that they could be helped as well.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  12:31  

So I would say one thing I’ve done today for a patient that I saw today is basically just one patient that I saw, we reviewed their medication therapy, and we saw some duplications and some duplications are when you have medications that do the same thing that you don’t need to be on. So it’s considered duplication of therapy. And so we saw some duplications or medications that work the same way that treat the same thing that the patient is taking two of or more of the review that medication and was able to intervene with the prescriber to go ahead and remove that duplication that could possibly be causing some side effects. So a pharmacist is very much important in patient care, because pharmacists are the medication or drug experts, as you will we have the expertise to catch things like that. And make sure that some of the side effects or things that you’re experiencing that you think it’s something else could actually be related to what you’re taking in something that may be interacting with either your other medications, or even supplements you’re taking over the counter. So it’s very important that all patients have a pharmacist as part of their team. Why would somebody have a duplication of a drug because you would think well, if the doctor order is because they need it. Doctors knows about it. So why would that happen? Well, sometimes you have patients that have medications being prescribed by multiple doctors. And the problem with that is there is not always communication from one doctor to another. but not always, ideally you would want that. But where a pharmacist comes in, when you have a pharmacist on your care team, they can see that duplication and basically reconcile and close that gap. And that communication between one doctor that doesn’t know that another doctor may have prescribed it for you. So that’s a reason why there might be duplications. Other than that there might be a situation not often, where a patient has one doctor that prescribes medications that they believe that they discontinued and the patient may still be getting it filled at the pharmacy, not knowing That it was meant to be discontinued and that communication may have not been very clear to the patient. Again, that is why you need a pharmacist in your care team because we see that and we can reconcile that. So that’s some of the reasons why patients may have a duplication.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  15:18  

In our case here in Arizona, we have what is called snowbirds. We have people that come from other states that Come on, it’s not that cold, and they leave here from November all the way to March, April, and then they move up north for the rest of the year. The problem is that when they have doctors there and doctors here, maybe the doctor that order stuff here, doesn’t know what the doctor over there prescribed, and then the patients are taking both, right. An example of a duplication as you have mentioned, but also the fact that some doctors might not even realize that the effect of the drug aren’t the same, because they’re different specialties, like the cardiologist doesn’t know what the rheumatologist is doing. And but we do because we as pharmacists are experts. And as soon as you put drugs in front of us, we read everything about it right?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  16:19  

Totally, totally. Right, read everything about it and we understand everything about it, and we immediately catch it. And then we ask questions like, what are you on this one? and this one? they do the same. Sometimes duplications are needed. Sometimes patients need two drugs that do the same thing. Whether is because the patient has a special situation that they’re not that sensitive to the drug. So other patients will react differently or faster, but these patients don’t because every patient is different. Or you need that what is called synergistic action, which is when two drugs work together to cause a better effect to help the patient even more. So, duplication of therapy has to be confirmed with the prescribers, because we need to know is this exactly what you meant? Or is this a mistake? We rather ask to find out if it’s a mistake or not, then leaving the patient taking something for years.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  17:12  

I’m going to tell you a funny story. I had a patient that was taking prednisone for over three years. And I said, Why are you still taking what is the inflammation? prednisone is a steroid that you use for inflammation. She said, well, I had a I had a respiratory thing. She had like pneumonia and the doctor ordered for like two weeks,and she keeps getting refilled. And she developed a kidney problem because 

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  17:39  

She didn’t know she was supposed to discontinue it.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  17:42  

Yeah, the nurses can given her refills at the doctor’s office. The doctor is the one signing because they’re so busy that they didn’t check the pharmacist that was expensive. This drug never caught it. Because they’re too busy doing retail work, which we’ll be talking with talk about before and that’s why when I was doing constantly I was doing MTM services or medication therapy management. I asked why are you taking this everyday all the time, it wasn’t a high dose. But still, it was something that the patient did not need me for harm rather than helping. And also the patient was paying for something that they didn’t need to pay.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  18:19  


Marilena Grittani, RPh  18:20  

So that’s how we are. I would say, I’ve said this before, and I think it’s true. We do like CSI pharmacy.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  18:29  

Yes, absolutely. Yes. 

Marilena Grittani, RPh  18:32  

Yeah. Is this necessary? Do we need this who’s the culprit here? We need to continue this isn’t guilty. Continue it or whatever we need to get done for the best outcome for safety.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  18:45  

Right, the best outcome and the safety of the patient. Absolutely. Every patient needs a pharmacist needs a pharmacist on their team on their care team.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  18:55  

To advocate for them, to help them to support them, to educate them and to discuss with doctors exactly what they need in words or terms or circumstances that are harder for the patient to do so because sometimes to talk to your doctor is very complicated the doctor office, but we have better access to them, because we are healthcare providers as well. So it’s a  better easier communication than directly with a patient. So…

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  19:20  

I absolutely agree. And one thing I will point out is a lot of patients will ask, Well, I have a pharmacist that I see at the dispensing pharmacy in their community pharmacy, and I do go and ask them question, but the fact of the matter remains, a community pharmacist doesn’t always have that time allocated to spend an hour to discuss or review your medications. So you actually need someone that is dedicated, a pharmacist that is dedicated, like you said, to educate, to advocate, to investigate and communicate to your doctors to make sure you have the best outcome. The services that we provide at Prime Care, which is not a dispensing. What we do is clinic Services has nothing to do with dispensing. So we focus on you the patient 

Marilena Grittani, RPh  20:05  

Related to the drugs. I talked to another colleague, her name is Sharzad Green, and she used an expression that I absolutely loved. She said that there is a triangle relationship between the physician or prescriber, the patient and the pharmacist.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  20:23  

Yes, I would agree. I would absolutely agree

Marilena Grittani, RPh  20:26  

Because the doctor is the one that diagnosis and finds out what’s wrong with the patient and the pharmacist monitored the drug that are helping with that specific illness or disease and then the patient is the one that is living through it. So the patient has to tell us if it’s working or not, if it’s not working as good if it has stuff that is happening that they don’t like, like they have nausea they have this illness or they’re bleeding because of the drugs. So we…

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  20:50  

Or they’re not even taking it. Exactly, exactly. You hit the nail on the head.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  20:57  

Oh my gosh, I’m gonna tell you this story because I She might be listening and I love you, Gracie. You know that. A long time ago, I was working in a hospital that was the director of pharmacy of this hospital. And one of my co workers came to me and she said, I finished my chemotherapy for breast cancer. But the doctor wants me to take this drug. Now, she said that it could affect my liver and I don’t want to take it. What do you think? And I said to her clearly, I said, we’re coworkers. But I need to tell you the truth. Do you want me to be upfront with you? Or do you want me to be just a bandaid? And she said, No, no, no, no, no, be upfront and tell me the truth. And I said, if you don’t take this medication, you will have cancer very soon again, this medication basically works like a shield to cover the areas where cancer can develop, again, because he would have been the chances are higher the next five years after you’re treated, and that’s what the drug is preventing. And you can monitor your liver function with lab with with blood tests that Doctors gonna continuously do with you. So you will not develop that. And then you will be better. And she said, I’m so glad I talked to you because I wasn’t planning to use it and use it now. She said every day, I promise I will.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  22:14  

Wow, that’s awesome.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  22:15  

Every time that she saw at the cafeteria? She sai, I took my pill, I took my pill!

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  22:20  

Yes, that’s awesome story.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  22:22  

I like that the patients are not conscious about it, mindful about it, educated about it. That’s why we need a pharmacist to consult, to have the patience that time and the dedication and most importantly, the expertise to help us. 

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  22:39  


Marilena Grittani, RPh  22:40  

Nurses, study drugs. Doctor studied drugs for maybe six months and that’s it. We had six years of study deeply related to medications to help you for that.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  22:52  

Right. Absolutely. And that’s why we are called pharmacists that the drugs experts in pharmaceuticals Yes, absolutely

Marilena Grittani, RPh  23:01  

That is why we call ourselves, the legal drug dealers, we are the legal drug dealer. So, Joy. Tell us about your your services. So your clinical services that your you and your colleague pharmacies that do this for a patient, how are you paid? Is this covered by insurance? Does the patient have to pay out out of pocket? out of pocket? Does Medicare covered this? Why don’t you clarify this for us, please?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  23:27  

So we offer a various services and like I said earlier and Clinical Pharmacy, basically providing medication related services that doesn’t have to do with dispensing of medications. Is it covered by insurance? Some of the services that we provide like medication therapy management is covered by Medicare. The challenges are that in certain states pharmacists are not considered as providers. So direct billing is not possible in some states. We do work with provider practices and we build through them. For some of them, MTM services and other services that we provide; majority of our services that we offer, I would say is not covered by insurance. And that is very unfortunate, because it’s a need. Patients need a pharmacist in their care team, that you cannot have a complete team, unless you have a pharmacist on that team. So a physician, a nurse, you have to have an expert in the drug therapy. And so a pharmacist is very much needed. And we really want to advocate, for pharmacists to be reimbursed and be able to build directly for the services that are needed to protect patients and improve outcomes.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  24:45  

If that makes any sense that the insurance doesn’t want to cover for the services, because we help the patient not get worse, we help the patient prevent the disease and we help the doctor not to have complications or duplications. Like this, and  that is cheaper for the insurance, it will be better that a pharmacist covers all this and then the patient doesn’t end up in the hospital, that he will be way more expensive for the insurance. But, that is the story that we will talk in another episode. But yes, absolutely. You need your pharmacists, you need their services, and you insurance should cover this. But to the payment part, there is a group of our listeners that are concerned about the way that insurances are controlling their health, and they’re not happy with it. If a patient, that the insurance of denied this services still wants to do it with you. And they will they’re open to pay out of pocket. How do they contact people like you How can they do this review of their medications? How could they have a clinical pharmacist to do this with them? Do they have to go to your office in Texas? How does this work?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  25:59  

So no Don’t have to go through our office in Texas. We are based in Texas but we serve patients throughout the United States that need our services for patients that want to take advantage of the services we offer through a cash pay system. They can contact us online, we do have a patient contact form, they would fill out and we would do a 15 minute free phone consultation with the pharmacist. The patient will talk to a pharmacist for 15 minutes, and we’ll get a better understanding of your health challenges and your goal and we work with you in partnership for your care and we also work in partnership with your prescriber, whether your prescriber is a physician or a nurse practitioner, so www.primecareHS.org (Prime Care Health Solutions) that is our website and there is a contact form there that a patient can fill out to get a little bit more information about scheduling a 15 minute free consultation with the pharmacists. We would tell you, What the payment would be based on your particular service that you’re choosing.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  27:04  

Okay, if you are interested in any of those services, you just have to go to Dr. Joy’s website that it will be included in the in the notes of the episode. And we will also she will also offer a 15 minute free consultation to find out if they can help you on if your expectation is what they can deliver, and then you will put together the payment plan for that. That’s the best way to contact you through your website.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  27:29  

Yes. And on the contact form. Yes.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  27:32  

Okay. So I do you have anything else to bring up to our listeners about what your services are on? What is your what you do?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  27:42  

Absolutely. I wanted to also mention that we do have some patients that are not tech savvy. Some patients don’t have internet and they don’t have a laptop or they don’t have a smartphone where they can get on website. So we also can be contacted directly. For instance, And that phone number to contact us as to 146132019. I wanted to mention that as well.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  28:09  

Can you repeat the number, please?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  28:11  

It’s 214-613-2019.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  28:17  

And that way they can do the same as if we’re doing online by phone call. That’s awesome. Excellent. I think it was very educational. Dr. Joy. That’s awesome. 

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  28:29  


Marilena Grittani, RPh  28:32  

I have fun questions to ask you. Okay, the next step in our conversation, so are you ready for that?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  28:41  


Marilena Grittani, RPh  28:43  

So tell me something that you think most patients don’t know about pharmacy as a profession.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  28:50  

So pharmacists are more than the people that you see in your local Walgreens or CVS or Walmart. We have doctors degrees in pharmacy, we studied six to eight years to actually get a pharmacy degree. And we are doctors, we have expertise and knowledge that go beyond what you may see in the retail setting. And also, one thing I would say is a lot of patients may not understand what’s actually done in the community pharmacy, that the care and, and the love that goes into each time that a pharmacist fills a prescription. They’re watching out for your safety, they’re making sure the dose is appropriate. They’re making sure that there’s not a cheaper or least expensive alternative for you. So they’re also looking for drug interactions, they’re making sure you’re not allergic to what’s being prescribed. They’re looking to see if the weight is appropriate. That’s a weight based dose. So there’s more than just putting that pill in that bottle and put it in the bag. And unfortunately, the dynamic of the retail setting doesn’t allow the pharmacist to offer up their true expertise. But that is why A company like ours has now offered that expertise in a different method beyond the dispensing role. So I think one thing patients don’t know is that we have years of education, we have doctorate degrees, we do a lot more than just counting pills.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  30:16  

So tell me what is the funniest lie that you have heard from patients to tell you that you needed to fill the prescription faster or sooner before they needed them? Do you remember any funny ones?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  30:29  

Well, most of that would be well, my doctor said it’s ready. And all I needed to do is come pick it up. Yeah. That’s the common statement. I always get. My doctor said it was ready. And oftentimes it hasn’t even been faxed in or we haven’t received the prescription.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  30:51  

I’m gonna take this opportunity to ask you. Why is that? Why is funny to me as a drug dealer, as a pharmacist that a doctor said that he We’ll be ready when the patient comes in. Why is it funny?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  31:03  

It’s funny because the doctor doesn’t know what happens in the pharmacy. And they they’re not aware of the dynamics that happens with other things. The pharmacist is running between doing immunizations, doing counseling, doing verbals for transfers, and taking phone orders for new prescriptions, and also helping counsel patients on over the counter therapies that they want to use for coughing, cold, or allergies. So there’s a lot of things that a pharmacist is pulled in so many directions, so it can change. And there’s been times where I had a patient code in the pharmacy and I had to be pulled away to call 911 and start CPR. So there’s so many things that can happen in a pharmacy that you cannot predict. A doctor that is working in the clinic can’t predict what’s happening in the pharmacy. So that’s whyit is that that’s all

Marilena Grittani, RPh  32:00  

I agree with 100% of what you said but how about when the patient is new to that pharmacy and we don’t have the patient’s information. We don’t have their insurance information, how insurance changed and then they we need to put the information on it and it will not be out when the patient when the doctor send the information to the wrong pharmacy. Yes. And then Hey, why don’t you have my prescription ready? Well, he said that he was going to send the Did you give him my information where else at Walgreens? Which Walgreens? You know how many we have. So it is funny and we don’t mean to disrespect you with this is funny because it happens every day.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  32:42  

Yeah, it does on off times.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  32:44  

Right? That we don’t want to give it to you. It’s not that we don’t want to do the job. But also think about this. If you came half hour before somebody that just said my doctor said it was going to be ready when I came here and there’s somebody that is waiting half hour before Do you think I need to take care of you first? Because your doctor said so? Or do I need to take care of the patient that was there for half hour earlier than right? So the doctor have nothing to do with what pharmacy does or manages his office. And that’s the extent of his responsibility. He sends the prescription when they send it because sometimes they forget the mistake, or the PA makes a mistake, or the MA makes a mistake, and then we never get it. So how do you want me to do it? By law, we cannot dispense a drug without a valid prescription. Trust me, we will call them, we will try to find it in other pharmacies we just call around. But it’s not that we don’t want to give it to you. It is the law. It is the law.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  33:43  

I 100% agree with you.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  33:44  

We’re trying to help you but that’s why it’s funny. I’m not meaning to insult anybody. Okay, so, we’re pretty much done but I want to close this episode with something that I want you to remind our listeners about. About Us, pharmacist what is something that you want our listeners to go out in their day the rest of their day? Thinking about us as pharmacists,

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  34:08  

pharmacists are your advocates, we advocate for patient care. We want to improve patient outcomes. We are here for you. We have the knowledge, we have the expertise, we are doctors were able to really provide clinical care. Just like your your medical doctor provides the diagnosis and the treatment path. We are able to monitor that treatment and also work with your prescriber to make sure your outcome is phenomenal or positive. So I want patients to know that we are your advocate, pharmacists are your advocates.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  34:48  

I love that!and I 100% agree with you. So thank you so much, Dr. Joy, for being today with us for teaching us what you do or explaining to us the differences of what you practice and Thank you for being there for our patients. You have anything to say?

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  35:02  

Thank you! Yes, I do have some tips that I will be sending to you that I want to share with your your listeners about some health tips that we want to offer in our newsletter that we commonly send. So I’ll be sending that to you for you to share with your listeners.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  35:17  

Absolutely. So I will put in the show notes so you will be able to download that and then to have access to Dr. Joy’s newsletter. That is information that is going to help you throughout your day and your prevention and medical and disease management. Thank you so much Dr. Joy for your time to talk to you. Loved it.

Dr. Eziaku Joy Agawa, PharmD  35:38  

Thank you for having me.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  35:40  

It was a very informative episode and she had provided enough information for you guys to start thinking or looking around for this services, whether it’s with Dr. Joy or not. I just want you to remember that pharmacists are there for you and there is a lot of them that are available. I happen to know about Bunch that are doing this type of work. Some of them are more specific in certain areas and others so if you have any specificity that you want to work with, feel free to email me and I will be happy to recommend people that I already know always if you have any other type of questions or this was just email me at comments@the.legal.drug.dealer.com.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  36:22  

So that is it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. Please subscribe to the podcast. Give us a review and if you have questions, send them to me at comment@thelegaldrugdealer.com and I will respond to you directly or I will include it in another episode as an answer for everybody.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  36:42  

Also, please visit thelegaldrugdealer.com look around and see what I have there for you a lot of stuff, specifically about what we’ve talked before and coronavirus.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  36:52  

Follow us on Instagram join our private Facebook group, which by the way is going to start having live The videos that I’m going to start recording this week, so feel free to go there and get keep informed with medical information that I’d be happy to share with you. Also don’t forget to join our mailing list so you will not miss any episode.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  37:14  

Next week I will be talking about medications prior authorizations. With Marian Hayes, a certified pharmacy technician. I know this is a headache this is a situation that nobody expect mostly if you have insurance. You don’t understand why this happens. So we will clarify everything next week. You don’t want to miss it.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  37:35  

So, with that I’m done. But before I go and just in case no one has told you today, I wanted to take a minute to remind you of how awesome you are. And how lucky are those that have you in their lives. Thank you for being the awesome you that you are. Have a wonderful rest of your day.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  37:53  

This is Marilena Grittani The Legal Drug Dealer.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  37:56  

Bye for now.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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