Calling pharmacists “the most over-trained and under-utilized professionals in America,” Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA), BSPharm—the only pharmacist now serving in Congress—wrote about the urgent need for pharmacists to be recognized health care providers in a May 2 piece in The Hill’s Congress Blog.
He said that not only does the clinical foundation and training of pharmacists graduating today go beyond what they were when he started out as a pharmacist, but a pharmacist’s role in patient care is much more than dispensing medication. He pointed to many examples, including pharmacists’ ability to manage chronic diseases and medication nonadherence, both of which can result in substantial savings for the U.S. health care system.
He said federal legislation that will give pharmacists provider status is common-sense reform. Currently, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R 592/S. 314) has 284 cosponsors in the House and 44 in the Senate.