Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2013 Hannah C. Whittemore


This thesis discusses the evolution of the role of the pharmacist in U.S. health care delivery from its early origins to modern day practice. Public policy, education and licensing requirements, and technological advances have substantially shaped the role of the pharmacist and what health care services they provide. Where pharmacists once provided direct patient care when formal modes of pharmacist professionalization did not exist, post-WWII mass production of pharmaceuticals confined pharmacists to dispensing and distribution duties that did not fully utilize their drug knowledge. Consequently, pharmacy educators and leaders have pushed pharmacy practice into an era of “pharmaceutical care,” emphasizing direct patient care activities and the employment of pharmacists’ drug expertise. Pharmacists today have moved back into clinical roles, participating in patient care activities alongside other health care professionals—sometimes even providing primary care services. Due to the U.S.’s growing dependence of prescription drugs and the American public’s continuous demands for high quality care, greater access to health care services, and containment of health care costs, pharmacists will likely acquire greater responsibilities in direct patient care.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.