A visit to Amgen

APhA CEO Tom Menighan visits AMGEN

As many of you know, pharmacists and the pharmaceutical industry have a lot of issues in common. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we do not. Frequently these days we've been on the same page about a lot of things, like biosimilars, REMS, access, drug information and education and others. My goal in any direct encounter with a pharmaceutical company is to promote pharmacists' roles in safe and effective use of their products in ways that benefit our patients.

About 2 weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Amgen. Thanks in part to the work our staff has done with them the last few years, they are quite interested and engaged about the changing role of the pharmacist in specialty and community practice.

We had a great story to tell about new, unfilled roles pharmacists are serving and some good suggestions, I think, about how increased access to their products by various sectors of pharmacy could help remove barriers to access for some of their products. The fact was not lost on them that pharmacists stepped up during the H1N1 emergence, in which over 115,000 pharmacists were trained nationwide to immunize. We are starting to change the perception of community pharmacy practice. I can assure you, folks are starting to take notice. To those of you who are evolving your practices for new opportunities, stay tuned...