“Fall Pharmacy Days” are underway, the half-century tradition of continuing education meetings and current issues presented by Iowa’s Pharmacy Association. Spokesman Jerry Karbeling says the people who fill prescriptions will get up-to-date information on medicine and health.They go to eight towns with a theme each year, and this year it’s Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, with the latest medical info and treatment guidelines. Why does a pharmacist have to know about your healthcare anyway? Karbeling, a practicing pharmacist himself, explains how the druggist can be a key link in the doctor-patient relationship.He says the patient has to get an appointment and go into the clinic to see the doctor, but pharmacist is the most accessible and likely to be there to help the patient understand how to use their prescription properly and get the most benefit from their medication. Karbeling says the pharmacist is also well positioned to help prevent dangerous interactions between different drugs prescribed for a patient.As an example, he says a doctor might put someone on a blood thinner like coumadin but a dentist or orthopedist prescription for painkillers could “wreak havoc” with the other drug. Karbeling says pharmacists have to deal with concerns over other over-the-counter products, like cold medicines that can be an ingredient in making meth.Especially in rural parts of the state where he says you wouldn’t think such problems would show up, they’ve had concerns about big purchases of pseudoephedrine, and some pharmacists will only stock small-size packages, and closely watch purchases. See RadioIowa-dot-com for the schedule of the rest of the “Fall Pharmacy Tour.”