2016 Melendy Lecturer Raymond Love Presents "The Impact of Pharmacists in Behavioral Health"

Raymond Love, Melendy lecturerRaymond Love, professor and vice chair of pharmacy practice and science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, presented “When Opportunity Knocks…Leveraging the Pharmacist’s Expertise in Behavioral Health” at the 2016 Samuel W. Melendy Lecture, which was held on both the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses in March.

“A big issue is that in the seriously mentally ill, they neglect their medical care. They don’t want to go to two places for behavioral health then go to primary care. When they do that there’s no communication between behavioral health and primary care. There are some really large opportunities here for pharmacists to help reduce cardiovascular and metabolic risks that are excessive in seriously mental ill patients,” said Love. “The solution is probably more comprehensive medication management by pharmacists that can deal with both the drugs for the medical conditions and the psychiatric conditions. This is a tremendous opportunity for pharmacy.”

According to Love, behavioral health is a public health issue, and there are plenty of opportunities in community pharmacy to help address this issue.

“Depression screening is a big public health issue and can be done by just about any community pharmacist,” said Love. “Patients on psychotropic meds have significantly complex regimens, and they need help managing them. If we as pharmacists regularly see patients or through an MTM program, those are things we can help address.”

Love concluded by encouraging students to take the initiative and strive to make an impact not just at the patient care level, but at the population level.

“When opportunity knocks, it’s too late. You should be out there making the opportunities,” Love said.