APhA recently hosted student pharmacists from across the world (literally!): interns from FDA, USP, NACDS, NCPA, AMCP, ASHP, ASCP, and APhA, as well as student pharmacists from the APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA–ASP)/International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation Student Exchange Program at the APhA–ASP chapter of Virginia Commonwealth University. The international student pharmacists were from France, Korea, and Slovakia.
I applaud these student pharmacists for getting outside the normal sectors of pharmacy to do these internships, and I challenge them to KEEP SHOWING UP! By showing up, they’ll not only increase the chances that they’ll learn something new, but they’ll meet fascinating people and build a network across all practice settings that will serve them well throughout their career. Pharmacy is a small world and you never know when and where paths will meet.
While we cover a multitude of issues, APhA is nothing if not collaborative. I am gratified with the level of teamwork among the dozens of pharmacy organizations. When APhA writes comment letters or lobbies on the Hill or with agencies, we almost always touch base with other pharmacy organizations who might have a particular focus on this issue or that. We value our relationship with FDA and the pharmacists who work there.
While, in most cases, the practice of pharmacy is not directly regulated by FDA, its policies and regulations have a significant impact on available medications and their use in our country. Our mantra—“Improving medication use. Advancing patient care.”—supports our engagement with the FDA. APhA has written and submitted at least 10 comment letters this year, many in collaboration with other pharmacy organizations, on issues including compounding, track and trace, OTC monographs, REMS, quality standards, naming, and biosimilars. When pharmacy’s voice is unified, it’s so much stronger.
No matter where our visitors’ careers lead them, and no matter what other outstanding organizations they’ll get involved with, they’ll always have a home at APhA.