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Michael D. Hogue, PharmD, FAPhA, FNAP, FFIP

Michael D. Hogue, PharmD, FAPhA, FNAP, FFIP

Michael D. Hogue is the 15th Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

Read more about Michael 

Published on Tuesday, January 23, 2024

A New Year’s resolution

APhA is the oldest national professional association in pharmacy. Founded in 1852, much of what we know as quality in the profession can be directly attributed to APhA’s efforts—for example, establishment and publishing of a National Formulary, the writing and revising over the years of the Code of Ethics for Pharmacists, collaboration in creating and publishing the Oath of a Pharmacist, and the driver of quality health care, products, services, and standards related to medication use. We are active and longstanding in our support of USP and the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), among a host of governmental agencies focused on quality. These organizations do quality work. Pharmacists have always been about quality—and thus APhA has always been focused on quality. 

APhA has done a great deal of work since the start of the pandemic to address a problem that’s been brewing for at least 30 years—work environments which increasingly have not fully supported the pharmacist–patient relationship. We’ve hosted summits, brought together thought leaders, catalyzed discussions which have led to actions by some employers, and accomplished a host of other related endeavors. Hindsight is 20/20, and APhA could have done more in the past, and I’m sorry we didn’t. You should know that this issue is a top priority for the association, and we will continue to advocate for pharmacists in 2024. 

On behalf of APhA, I want to commit to each of you that we will represent our members with strength and visibility in the coming year. We will ensure our pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and student pharmacist members’ voices are heard collectively. We resolve that we will intensify our work directly with employers large and small to advocate for the principles outlined in the multi-organization endorsed Pharmacists’ Fundamental Responsibilities and Rights. We will work directly with PBMs on a consistent basis to ensure that pharmacies are reimbursed fairly. Underwater reimbursements are undermining pharmacists’ ability to spend time with patients ensuring appropriate medication use. 

And while the issues are far too complex to unpack in a single blog post, I want each of you to know as individuals that I am committed to each of you and your professional success. The burnout, frustration, and anger you have is justified. I hear you. APhA hears you. We are focused on solutions, and these will take time. We will engage our members in listening sessions and work hard on the solutions. I commit to you that APhA will do better going forward. I can’t change the past, and I can’t even guarantee that everything will be better immediately in your practice. But I can commit to you, APhA’s members, that you can trust us to have your back and be your voice. 

Talk is cheap. Whenever someone apologizes for anything in today’s world, there are typically two sets of responses. There are those who are appreciative and those who are cynical. I understand both perspectives. Know that I understand clearly that an apology without action for change is not helpful. We are taking action and will intensify those efforts in 2024. For those who are cynical, you’ve lost your hope in the profession and your faith in APhA. I’m sad about that and I pray that in the coming months you’ll regain your hope and faith in our profession and APhA. 

Pharmacists fighting with each other inside of the profession is not productive. Times are tough and frustrations are high, with many uncertainties. Yet what I do know is that if pharmacists across this great nation will lock arms together and move forward united, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. We can change the future if we believe in ourselves and our colleagues and are willing to let go of the past. APhA truly is for every pharmacist; for all of pharmacy. If you have colleagues who are not members of APhA, please ask them to join us.  

 

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Author: James Keagy

Categories: CEO Blog

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