Psychologist recognizes pharmacists' legislative efforts

I know that most pharmacists read APhA’s flagship publication, Pharmacy Today, but I was thrilled to learn that psychologists read our publication too!

In an August 2015 blog entry, a well-known friend of pharmacy, Pat DeLeon, PhD, former Chief of Staff to Senator Daniel Inouye and President of the American Psychological Association, quoted an article published in Pharmacy Today that showcased pharmacist efforts to expand their scope of practice through collaborative practice agreements. The article noted that there are currently 20 states where nurse practitioners and pharmacists can work together under a formal collaborative agreement.

I gather from DeLeon’s blog that the psychological profession is launching its own efforts to expand practice through prescriptive authority with an initiative called RxP.

DeLeon must have been impressed with the success of pharmacists’ efforts because in addition to calling attention to the Today article, he posed a question to his own profession. Referring to the nurse practitioner-pharmacist collaborative agreements, he wrote, “the future will require similar psychology-pharmacy collaborative practice agreements to be enacted by individual state legislatures, as well as developing a personal comfort level with interdisciplinary practice. Have any of our State Psychological Associations initiated joint meetings with pharmacy?”

DeLeon also noted in his blog post that successful application of psychology to the betterment of society requires enhanced involvement in public policy. He pointed out to his colleagues that according to Today, due to “efforts led by state pharmacy associations, there have been 32 bills introduced this year in 11 states addressing issues ranging from immunization authority to collaborative practice agreements and more.”

We are grateful to our friend that he is sharing our initiatives with his profession by calling out our legislative progress to expand the scope of practice. As health care transitions to a team-based, multidisciplinary approach to care, it is critical for pharmacists to communicate and collaborate with other health care professionals, including psychologists. Opening a dialogue and formalizing collaborative practice agreements allows pharmacists, in conjunction with other health care professionals, to practice at the top of our game, add value, and improve patient care.

Visit to read the complete Pharmacy Today article, and visit to read DeLeon’s entire blog post.