Pharmacists in Action, July 2014

What Pharmacists Are Doing Across the Country

Make some noise for provider status!


As you all know by now, our pursuit of access for patients and recognition of pharmacists as valued members of the health care team is a critical initiative for APhA. The benefits of incorporating more pharmacists providing care is receiving increased attention in both the mainstream media and with policy makers. That attention, and the momentum we’re gaining, is because of you, your patients, and the great work you do each and every day. A few months ago, APhA launched a national advocacy campaign called Pharmacists Provide Care. We put the call out to you, our membership, to share your personal experiences as evidence for how pharmacist-provided patient care services is important to our health care system. 

One by one, pharmacist by pharmacist, patient by patient, you are making a difference. So far, more than 1,200 pharmacists have signed up for the Pharmacists Provide Care campaign, and dozens of pharmacists from 24 states and Washington, DC, have filmed “Share Your Story” video testimonials about how they provide care and what provider status will mean to them. Many other pharmacists from across the nation have shared their stories using the Pharmacists Provide Care Web form. Pharmacists have sent hundreds of letters to Congress in support of provider status legislation. And your voice is being heard! As we go to press, 56 Members of Congress have signed on as cosponsors to H.R. 4190, the bipartisan bill that would amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to give Medicare beneficiaries access to the important pharmacists’ services they need. See page 1 and page 52 of this issue of Pharmacy Today for more information about this evolving story.

In addition to the growing support on the Hill, Forbes recently published “Meet the Newest Member of Your Personal Healthcare Team,” an article on the pivotal role that pharmacists can play on the patient’s health care team. The article says pharmacists can help fill the gap in access to health care services through medication therapy management. As the pursuit of provider status gains traction, please help us keep the momentum by engaging with us. Your voice is needed now—and there are so many ways you can make a difference! Sign up for the Pharmacists Provide Care campaign to be part of the team working toward achieving our provider status goal. We’ll keep you updated on the various provider status–related programs and activities. Once you sign up, you can share your own story about how you provide care. These stories, and those of your patients, are critical to increasing access. In addition to joining the campaign, write a letter today to your elected officials and urge them to support H.R 4190. We’ve made it easy—just visit the Legislative Action Center on, and fill out the Web form. Finally, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the pharmacists and patients who have joined the Pharmacists Provide Care campaign. Every voice and every story is making a difference.

—Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA, Executive Vice President and CEO

29 million:
The number of people in the United States (9.3%) who have diabetes. Another 86 million adults aged 20 years and older have prediabetes. Source:

Media vibe 

During the month of May, APhA external communications and media advisors responded to more than 15 inquiries, including:

  • Forbes: Pharmacist ethics and how they are applied to lethal injection
  • Kaiser Health News: Provider status
  • U.S. News & World Report: What do pharmacists do?
  • Costco Connection: What consumers should know about taking drugs effectively
  • San Antonio Express-News: Efficacy of new drug delivery systems such as patches, gums, etc.

The advantages of using the 340B Drug Discount Program and being a Leading Practice Site 

The following Q&A with Diane Martin, BSPharm, Associate Vice President of Pharmacy Operations of Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC), was conducted and consolidated by Allison Gross, Manager of Communications and Peer-to-Peer Operations for Federal Contracts and Grants. GLFHC is a Federally Qualified Health Center and the second largest health center in Massachusetts. GLFHC is providing high-quality care to its patients at six primary care sites and five pharmacies throughout Lawrence and Methuen, MA.

Please describe why GLFHC applied to the Peer-to-Peer program?

We applied to the Peer-to-Peer program because we wanted to start a pharmacy residency program, which we are starting in July 2014. The Peer-to-Peer program allows us to learn from others and try to stay ahead of all the changes with the 340B program. We have partnered with Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for an ambulatory care residency program.

What are the advantages of being in the Peer-to-Peer program?

Being a part of the team allows us to tap into everyone else’s resources. Our All-Peers call, where we discuss common issues across the country, allows me to be ahead of the curve in terms of obstacles, issues, or scrutiny of the 340B program. Being a Leading Practice Site enables greater insight into the best way to handle things and to see what other people are doing. Most of the stuff we are doing is new, and with change comes new processes. We are able to bounce ideas off others and hear what others are doing. Having the resources and the contacts, and being on a first-name basis with consultants, help us use best practices and tools to better operationalize our program.

Why is the 340B program important in your community?

Lawrence is one of the poorest cities in the country. We service 51,000 patients, most of whom are low income and low health literacy. 340B allows us to spread our scarce resources and ultimately help our patients adhere to their medications. We have a really in-depth program to address patient needs. We don’t just have patients who speak English and Spanish. We have patients who speak Khmer, which is Cambodian and Vietnamese. We have a lot of different languages in our population, and we have staff that meets the needs of our patients.

What are the advantages of using the 340B Drug Discount Program?

There is a huge health literacy issue in our area. Patients don’t have any understanding about their medications. Through 340B savings and expansion of our clinical pharmacy sites from one to five, we have shown improvements in all our chronic care patients. Pharmacists make sure the patient leaves with [his or her] medication, and staff explains to each patient the importance of taking their medications. The 340B savings has allowed us to expand access to all of our sites and increase patient awareness of the importance of their prescriptions. It allows us to catch any sort of near miss or medications not covered, and we instantly address it right there. Our patients get their medications and are educated about them so they know what to do when they get home.

Check out next month’s Pharmacy Today for a full-site highlight of GLFHC.

For more information on the 340B Peer-to-Peer Program and to submit an application, visit

Allison Gross, Manager of Communications and Peer-to-Peer Operations, APhA Federal Contracts & Grants

An essential “how to” guidebook for pharmacists

How to Conduct a Comprehensive Medication Review by Lauren B. Angelo and Jennifer Cerulli provides a stepwise approach to performing a comprehensive medication review (CMR).

It reviews medication therapy management (MTM) terminology, concepts, and definitions before introducing the steps of a CMR process. The steps include those directly related to patient care, including preparing for the CMR, provisions of the CMR, assessment of medication-related problems, and documentation of the CMR encounter and plan. The publication also explains the administrative steps of performing a CMR, such as patient recruitment and scheduling, billing and compensation, and evaluation of the MTM service.

There are many highlights to this guidebook, which makes it useful to any pharmacist who currently provides or plans to provide MTM services. The MTM encounter checklist ensures that the pharmacist does not miss any important elements of a CMR. The guidebook incorporates concept application activities as a way to reinforce and apply learned topics. Tables include example resources, such as those that assist with MTM implementation, patient education, medication-related problems, and clinical practice guidelines.

Also included in the guidebook are example documents, which are particularly useful. The sample patient letter, marketing flyer, promotional brochure, and telephonic script will assist pharmacists with patient recruitment. The sample patient data collection forms, medical release form, and CMS standardized format for the Medication Action Plan and Personal Medication List will assist with essential documentation elements of a CMR. All documents are general and need to be modified to fit your own practice. The stepwise approach provided in How to Conduct a Comprehensive Medication Review, MTM encounter checklist, tables of example resources, and sample documents will assist both seasoned and novice MTM pharmacists in the delivery of MTM services. 

ISBN# 9781582122168
53 pages
List Price $15.00
APhA Member Price $12.00

Cathy Kuhn, PharmD, Columbus Patient Care Center, Kroger Pharmacy #815, Columbus, OH

A minute with . . .

Katherine Petsos, BSPharm, CPh, FAPhA
Staff pharmacist, Walgreens
Merritt Island, FL
APhA member since 1993

I first became interested in being a pharmacist ... after transferring to the University of Florida. I came to realize being a pharmacist would allow me to help people improve their quality of life and health through educating them about their medications.

I joined APhA because ... I felt it was the pharmacy organization that embraced all facets of our profession and fostered a sense of unity among pharmacists. APhA also endeavors to promote safe medication use and patient care services by pharmacists.

My most memorable APhA experience ... is always the House of Delegates. I love participating and listening to the exchange of ideas between pharmacists from all over the nation. It allows you to broaden your perspective about issues facing the profession.

If I weren’t a pharmacist, I’d be ... a chef. After all, eating good food and drinking fine wines make people happier than medication. I also love to cook!

People would be surprised to know ... I did a tandem skydive.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, I’d choose ... Barbra Streisand because I find her fascinating. I want to know where her creativity and skills come from to be a singer, actress, director, and writer. What inspires her?  What motivates her?

Did you know?

APhA is committed to achieving provider status for pharmacists, which will recognize us as valued members of the health care team and allow us to use our unique skills and extensive education to enhance patient health.

We are pursuing this recognition through a dedicated national advocacy campaign called Pharmacists Provide Care. Since announcing the campaign in late March, thousands of people have signed up to support our efforts, and hundreds of letters have been sent to Congress, urging members to pass meaningful legislation.

If you believe that pharmacists provide care and we deserve recognition for it, please join us today at







APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice & Management (APhA–APPM) represents all practice settings of pharmacy, from inpatient hospital pharmacists to community pharmacists, from nuclear pharmacists to managed-care pharmacy, and everything in between.

I joined APPM because it best represents what I do and because I can network with other pharmacists who are interested in similar areas and activities.

Amy M. Lugo, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM, FAPhA, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Defense Health Agency, Pharmacy Operations Division

APhA–APPM member since 2002

Ten ways to become politically active in your community

Advocacy has the greatest impact on the community level because Members of Congress depend on their constituents for re-election. Here’s how you can advocate for pharmacy:

1. Visit our Legislative Action Center to urge your legislator to support H.R. 4190.

2. Help educate other APhA members within your community on how obtaining provider status will affect the future of pharmacy and why it is important to become involved in the political process. 

3. Establish and develop a continuing personal relationship with your elected officials. As a constituent and an expert on pharmacy, you will be asked for your opinion on the current state of health care reform and other pertinent federal legislation. 

4.  Stay updated on your federal legislators’ voting history and activities. Express your opinion on your legislators’ recent activities and your stature as an advocate will grow, as will their understanding of APhA’s policy positions. 

5. Maintain your constituent relationship with your legislators to keep communication open. 

6.  Invite your legislators to various community activities, such as small social gatherings or award ceremonies with other APhA members present. 

7. Invite members of Congress to tour your pharmacy, clinic, hospital, or school; this will allow them to be truly immersed in the day-to-day life of a pharmacist. 

8.  Stay up-to-date on upcoming local political functions and fundraisers. 

9.   Become involved personally and financially in a local incumbent or candidate’s campaign who is a proponent of APhA issues. 

10. Become an APhA Provider Status Advocate.

For more information about any of the suggestions above, contact Lauren DePutter at or (202) 223-7181.

BPS announces call for 2015 Board Members

The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) is seeking nominations for four positions to serve on its Board of Directors. The open Board of Directors seats for 2015 are listed below.

1. At-Large Pharmacist Member (one opening for 2015): This pharmacist position on the BPS Board shall be filled by a pharmacist who is not Board certified.

2. Board-Certified Pharmacist Member (two openings for 2015): The 2015 openings on the BPS Board of Directors are for two of the following three Board-Certified Pharmacists: Board-Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, Board-Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist, or Board-Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist.

3. Public Member (one opening for 2015): This position on the BPS Board shall be filled by a person who represents the direct and indirect user of the services and skills of Board-Certified Pharmacists.

Each appointment is for 3 years, with the possibility of re-appointment to a second 3-year term. The specific term for this call is January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2017. The online nomination form must be received no later than August 1, 2014. Visit to learn more about open positions for 2015–17.

Members only

APhA member Harvey A.K. Whitney, Jr, MS, was named an honorary member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) for his sustained contributions to health-system pharmacy practice. Whitney has dedicated his career to advancing the profession of pharmacy as a pharmacist, educator, administrator, mentor, editor, and publisher. President of Harvey Whitney Books Co., Whitney’s extensive contributions in publishing include serving as publisher, editor, then editor emeritus of The Annals of Pharmacotherapy (1978–2013); founder, editor, and publisher of The Journal of Pharmacy Technology (1985–2013); and the founder and editor of Christianity and Pharmacy (1996–98).

As the world commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-day last month, APhA celebrated its own veteran, George Griffenhagen, BSPharm. He dutifully served our country during World War II, spending 2.5 years with Company B of the 20th division of the 1340th Combat Engineers. He landed at Normandy on D-day and saw action in Tunisia, Sicily, northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and central Europe. Griffenhagen is a 1949 graduate in pharmacy from the University of Southern California and obtained a master’s of science in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1950. He joined APhA as a full-time staff member in 1959 and served in several positions, including director of communications, editor of the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Practical Pharmacy Edition, 1962–1976, and creator and editor of the APhA Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs (1967, 1971, and 1973 editions). He was also APhA honorary president from 1990 to 1991.

Marcie Bough, PharmD, Executive Director of the Montana Board of Pharmacy and former APhA staffer, received the 2013 FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation Award for her work in helping the agency implement its Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS). FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, wrote: “In your position as Senior Director of Government at [APhA], you were a tremendous asset to FDA in developing and communicating APhA’s positions on regulations and other Agency activities that affect pharmacists.”