THANK YOU for a great American Pharmacists Month

BOO! Tomorrow is the last day of #APhM2018 and Halloween. Thanks to all who visited, posted on social media, spoke with patients, wrote and called elected officials, hosted events in your communities, and generally spread the word on campus this month that pharmacists are “Easy to Reach and Ready to Help.” Stats show that the social media campaign reached almost one million people! Great work!

This year’s focus was on the public and we’re thrilled with the results. We are striving to create demand for your services! Many don’t know what they don’t know. Lawmakers need to hear that pharmacists make a big difference in their constituents’ lives so they can take that into account when considering the future of health care.

That’s why the theme of #APhM2018 was so important. Our campaign materials focused on eight patient care scenarios where pharmacists are making a big difference. We’re aiming to spark demand by making patients more knowledgeable about the roles we play in medication management; immunizations; OTCs and supplements; and managing diabetes, hypertension, COPD, asthma and other chronic conditions.
We will establish ourselves as recognized health care providers when we get our patients to demand access to our services.

So don’t stop shouting on November 1. This is a year-round effort as we continue to demonstrate ways that pharmacists are “easy to reach and ready to help.” If my two invitations to the White House this month were any indication, the profile of the pharmacist is on the rise. But unless and until our patient care services—opioid-related or otherwise—are covered under Medicare Part B, neither patients nor communities and the health care system as a whole will truly reap the benefits from pharmacists’ skills and expertise.

Speaking of the White House, on October 24 at the opioid bill signing, there were at least five APhA members in the room, including Paul Abramowitz (ASHP), Carmen Catizone (NABP), Rick Gates (Walgreens), Doug Hoey (NCPA) and me—the most fanatical member of all. Thanks to our colleagues for their great work in their respective organizations, and for their partnerships in advancing our profession.

The fight to get pharmacists on the team and in the game goes on. Thank you for being part of it!