What a specialist dermatology pharmacist can offer
Kläre Bryant is an advanced clinical pharmacist who has been holding clinics for dermatology patients receiving biologics and other systemic treatments for more than nine years. IMI spoke to her to find out more about her work.
In addition to routine inpatient work on the dermatology and rehabilitation wards “an extended part of my role is to run my own clinics, one of which is for biologics patients. So, I do biologic monitoring …… I actually monitor the infliximab cohort and also, I do monitoring for patients who are on systemic medications – DMARDs such as methotrexate and azathioprine”, she explains
“Having a skin condition is something that can take over people’s lives”, says Ms Bryant
Part of the problem is that skin conditions affecting the hands, face or scalp are readily visible and can make people particularly self-conscious, for example, if there is rough, inflamed skin on the hands or face, heavy scalp scaling or hair loss. In addition, there can be functional impairment, for example, tight, sore skin on the fingers can make simple operations such as handling coins and credit cards difficult. Similarly, a skin condition affecting the soles of the feet can make it painful to walk. Simply wearing clothes can be difficult or uncomfortable for someone with inflamed skin, says Ms Bryant. Healthy skin is also important for patients who are about to undergo surgical procedures such as joint replacements or abdominal surgery, she adds.
Ms Bryant says: “It just impacts people’s confidence and so it’s just so, so important and shouldn’t ever be underestimated …….. and we should do everything we can to support them [to] get the best out of their medicines so that they can achieve the very best skin that they can”.
Pharmacists can help patients to get the most out their medicines by helping them to work out regimens that achieve the best therapeutic effect with least impact on day-to-day life. “A lot of these things can be messy and smelly and …. they can get on people’s clothing [and] their bedding so we want to help provide lots of advice to patients just with when to use these creams and how to use them so it’s got minimal impact on their life but maximal impact on their skin control”, says Ms Bryant.
Seeing prescriptions for dermatological medications first sparked Ms Bryant’s interest in dermatology and made her curious to know more about the conditions that were being treated. When she saw an advertisement for the position of the dermatology specialist pharmacist, she looked into it and decided to apply for the position.
Kläre Bryant is an advanced clinical pharmacist in dermatology at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS foundation trust. She has an outpatient clinic at Broadgreen Hospital for patients receiving biologic therapies and another clinic at Aintree hospital for patients receiving systemic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)