The practice of pharmacy is evolving on a global stage. Here in the United States, we are focused on driving practice transformation, developing pharmacist leaders, and promoting consumer access and coverage for pharmacists’ quality patient care services.
What happens here in the United States often influences pharmacy practice worldwide. At the same time, we can learn a few things from our counterparts overseas, as is always the case at the International Pharmacy Federation (FIP) congress each year. After attending this year’s great FIP meeting in Düsseldorf, Germany, I had the opportunity to introduce APhA and pharmacy initiatives in the United States to the 2015 European Pharmacists Forum in Milan, Italy. This was a group of about 35 independent pharmacists from various countries in Europe. We discussed our efforts to get pharmacists on the team and in the game in health care in a broader way. We drilled down on the major progress we’ve made with immunizations that could translate into similar success in Europe. We also examined U.S. pharmacy’s efforts to expand access to our broad array of underutilized services.
In March 2015, the European Pharmacists Forum released a white paper and a “call to action” about the role of pharmacy in supporting the public’s health. The paper describes five key areas—medication adherence, vaccinations, screening, self-care, and disease prevention—where pharmacists can make maximum impact on improving health.
The European Pharmacists Forum white paper’s closing statements urge pharmacists to take on greater roles in public health and chronic disease management, advocate for legislation, establish health care team partnerships, and gain access to electronic medical records.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was a hot topic during FIP’s 75th World Congress. FIP is planning to release a briefing document about the pharmacist’s role in combating AMR during the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week, held November 16–22, 2015. The briefing document is an overview of the different activities for AMR prevention that community and hospital pharmacists are involved in. These examples of pharmacists’ activities are illustrated by campaigns and programs developed by pharmacists and their associations around the world.
Although there are many important international initiatives, I am proud to report that APhA has made significant progress on provider status here at home. In September, members of the APhA Board of Trustees and state pharmacy association executives visited Capitol Hill to discuss provider status legislation (H.R. 592 and S. 314). As part of a broader pharmacy effort, other organizations from the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition attended these meetings or held their own to demonstrate the broad support for the legislation. Check out page 12 in this section of Pharmacy Today for more details.
Before you move on to your next task, please take a few minutes to send a letter to Congress by going to the Pharmacists Provide Care website and clicking “Take Action.” Online letters of support for the bills are having an impact, and every cosponsor matters! While we are seeking additional cosponsors to move the vote to the chamber floors, we want to also thank those who have signed on in support of the bills. Act now!
APhA is seeking entities of all sizes and types to apply for the prestigious status of a 340B Peer-to-Peer Leading Practice Site. Applicants that have demonstrated proven leading practices are accepted into this expanding program based upon objective criteria that identify the strengths of these organizations in a variety of settings.
Selected entities will receive the following:
To apply and to learn more, visit www.hrsa.gov/opa and select “340B Peer-to-Peer” from the navigational menu.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) 340B Peer-to-Peer Program is pleased to offer a compliance-focused webinar series designed to move covered entities toward the highest level of program integrity in the 340B Drug Discount Program.
The 340B Peer-to-Peer Program was created in 2011 by HRSA’s OPA and APhA to spotlight high-performing 340B entities and recognize them as Leading Practice Sites. Recognized sites provide practical examples of excellence in 340B integrity and serve as a resource for other 340B entities.
The webinar series will use a Compliance Improvement Model and Compliance Improvement Guide as a framework. At the conclusion of the sessions, participants will be able to understand how to transform organizational processes for continuous improvement. The webinar content was developed by faculty and Peer Mentors from the HRSA 340B Peer-to-Peer Program. Prior to and during open-office webinars, participants will be able to submit questions and discuss challenges and solutions to implement the performance improvement concepts. For more information about the webinars and to watch an introductory video, visit www.hrsa.gov/opa and select 340B Peer-to-Peer from the navigational menu.
APhA offers a slate of training programs, including certificate training programs, advanced training programs, residency training, and more.
APhA is excited to announce a new offering of the Pharmacy-Based Travel Health Services advanced training program at special member/nonmember pricing for 2015. It is an innovative and interactive advanced competency training (ACT) program that explores the pharmacist’s role in providing travel health services to patients. This application-based activity is the first step for pharmacists interested in learning the essential skills necessary to successfully provide travel health services. Registration is now open for the November 20 offering in Seattle, WA.
Also just announced: APhA will hold the ADAPT Patient Care Skills Development advanced training program in January 2016. ADAPT increases your confidence and experience in integrating new patient care skills, processes, and tools into your everyday practice. ADAPT trains pharmacists to employ new skills systematically, with standardized tools and processes for medication assessments, patient interviews, care plans, and documentation.
APhA has will hold two sessions of the Pharmacist and Patient-Centered Diabetes Care certificate training program, one on December 3 in Portland, OR, and another on December 17 in New Orleans. The program is a newly revised, intensive educational experience designed to equip pharmacists with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to provide effective, evidence-based diabetes care.
To view APhA’s complete training program schedule and to register for upcoming sessions, visit www.pharmacist.com/live-activities.
Anne Marie (Sesti) Kondic, PharmD
Executive Director, Community Pharmacy Foundation
APhA member since 2014
The APhA Advantage for me has been … opportunities for networking, service, professional growth and education, friendship, consulting employment, and visiting an amazing building (APhA HQ) on the DC mall.
I first became interested in being a pharmacist … after visiting the Michigan Pharmacists Association office with my dad, who was executive director for about 28 years. When it was time for college visits, I followed in my dad’s footsteps and attended pharmacy school at Ferris State University.
My most memorable APhA experience … was when I was a student pharmacist and a group of us had dinner at the APhA Annual Meeting in 1993 or 1994 in Orlando, FL. I exchanged phone numbers and mailing addresses on the back of the hotel room key holder with another student. We’ve been friends, colleagues, and mentors to each other ever since.
APhA2016 is the most important event in pharmacy. It’s where you can unite with pharmacists from all fields for networking, education, and advocacy opportunities. Held March 4–7 in Baltimore, the 2016 APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition is a place to generate new ideas, find solutions, and make connections.
Categorized into three levels of expertise, the education content is designed to help attendees use their time efficiently at APhA2016 by selecting the right sessions for their professional development needs and goals. Through the use of APhA’s Interactive Planning Tool, attendees can create a customized plan and determine how they will implement what they learn.
Connect with new innovations and knowledge that you can immediately implement in your career and patient care practice. Choose from more than 80 education sessions that will maximize your learning experience, and take advantage of the opportunity to earn up to 20 hours of continuing pharmacy education credits. There are also opportunities to participate in certificate training programs such as “Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services” and “Pharmacy-Based Cardiovascular Disease Risk Management.”
Take advantage of the new and updated education sessions to expand your professional development at APhA2016. Invest in yourself and in your practice, and learn how to grow your career and advance within the field of pharmacy.
Register by January 13, 2016, and save big! Visit www.aphameeting.org for details about education sessions and to register.
Natosha McNeal, contributing writer
APhA takes advantage of every opportunity to advocate for the profession. As the only Association representing all pharmacists in all practice settings across the United States, APhA works hard to collaborate with all policy-making bodies to effect change and create pathways for the promotion and coverage of pharmacists’ patient care services.
APhA’s Government Affairs Department has made it easy for members to advocate for important pharmacy issues and stay up-to-date on legislative news.
The Pharmacists Provide Care campaign provides many resources related to provider status, including the following:
APhA issues a monthly update on the Government Affairs Department’s engagement with Congress and federal agencies on key policy issues. The newsletter also provides a way to communicate and request feedback from APhA members about pharmacy-related policy.
Issue-specific workgroups and committees offer opportunities for APhA members to engage with other members and contribute directly to policies that directly affect the profession and its future.
As of early October, the majority of the U.S. House of Representatives became cosponsors to the legislation, with 230 of the 435 Members of Congress in the House signed on as sponsors and cosponsors to the bill. There are 34 cosponsors in the Senate.