Doubting pharmacists, read on

For any pharmacist in America who is not convinced that APhA and our profession are on to something by training thousands of pharmacists in medication therapy management (MTM), take a look at this New York Times article published this weekend.

"Pharmacists Take Larger Role on Health Team" describes from a consumer's view what folks are seeing increasingly in pharmacies throughout America. I wish I could just paste the entire article into this blog—it's one of the best presentations in the mainstream media of pharmacy's new services that "reflect the expanding role of the nation’s pharmacists in ways that may benefit their customers and also represent a new source of revenue for the profession."

The article focuses on Barney's Pharmacy in Augusta, GA, where owner Barry S. Bryant and pharmacist David Pope offer classes on managing disease with medications, diet, and exercise. The pair have created their own education company,, to teach others how to begin offering such services, the Times reports.

Reporters Reed Abelson and Natasha Singer, with whom APhA worked for some time to provide contacts and sources, also interviewed Fred Eckel, Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists, about the Asheville Project, and Michelle Chui, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, who "said that pharmacists do not want to compete with doctors, but merely provide more information 'so the physician has a more in-depth picture.'”

Abelson and Singer wrote, "This evolving use of pharmacists also holds promise as a buffer against an anticipated shortage of primary care doctors."

A photo with the story shows pharmacists Brittany and Stephanie Bryant leading chair aerobics classes at Barney's Pharmacy. In a second article in the Times, Singer describes the two generations of Bryants who work at this pharmacy, including dad Barry, those two daughters, and their older sister, Vanessa Hoffman.

Hats off to those pharmacists, pharmacies, and health plans profiled in the stories. We're proud of you!