Trifecta: Pharmacy is pouring it on

If the two New York Times articles I blogged about recently were not enough, now comes another very positive mention of pharmacy in the media. This third article in our trifecta is not from the consumer media—it's directly from the American Medical Association (AMA).

In a posting today on the website of American Medical News, Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, Chair of the AMA Board of Trustees, writes: "The AMA recognizes the important contributions that pharmacists provide to patients in institutional and community settings, and at [a recent] meeting, it was evident that our pharmacist colleagues saw value in developing further collaborative partnerships with us in drug and disease management."

I've previously shared information about our work with AMA on Collaborative Drug Therapy Management (CDTM) agreements, and this editorial is just the latest—but not the last—fruit from our efforts. Hoven recounts in her article how CDTM has worked so effectively in hospitals and clinics. She cites her own experiences in Lexington, KY, as an example:

"Every day in the hospital and other controlled settings, such as my own outpatient HIV clinic, physicians and pharmacists work together, and we value those relationships. In the community, some of us also participate in both formal and informal collaborative practice agreements, and have for years. These agreements can, but do not necessarily, include management and monitoring of medications, patient counseling and adherence counseling."

Such efforts need to be extended in the community, Hoven writes, because "50% of patients may not take their medications as prescribed, and as many as 25% never fill their prescriptions." She adds: "This, of course, ricochets back onto physicians and hospitals, with costs estimated at more than $100 billion in caring for people who get sicker because they did not obtain their medications or did not follow their prescribed treatments."

Our hats are off to all the pharmacy practitioners who had a hand in creating this spate of positive news, including those who work with Hoven in the Bluegrass Care Clinic. As an association, our job at APhA is to call attention to the great things pharmacists are doing every day, promote those good works to others, and advocate for a system that recognizes pharmacists' contributions. You make it easy!

If you're not already an APhA member but you believe in this mission, we hope you'll join us today. The future for pharmacists is bright, but not certain. With your help, the voice of pharmacy is collectively that much stronger. Do your part today, so that we can be even more effective in ours!