Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine

Did you know that American Pharmacists Month used to be American Pharmacists “WEEK” and that it was active for many years before falling into disrepair? We resurrected it in the late 1980s and began to grow it to become an important reminder for society that pharmacists have something important to offer our health care system

But what’s REALLY IMPORTANT is what YOU think of when it comes to American Pharmacists Month (APhM). Why is it important to you? If it isn’t, why not? Celebration of your profession? Advocacy? Community outreach? Or is it just like any other month? Well, I hope October has some meaning to you and your colleagues. Here at APhA, American Pharmacists Month is a special time of year. We get to celebrate you and your practices in new and exciting ways. It gives us a chance to step back and reflect on the profession we all work so hard to enhance. It also gives us a chance show you how much we support all the great things you do every day.

As we begin American Pharmacists Month 2012, we start the rollout of a new APhM – one that is focused on you and celebrating you. The updated slogan—"Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine"—reflects our commitment to keeping the pharmacist primary in medication management and related clinical services. A patient cannot know their medicine without first knowing their pharmacist. This new slogan will be rolled into our year-long consumer-outreach efforts. October will be purely focused on promoting why patients should know their pharmacist, while the rest of the year we will focus our consumer promotions on utilizing pharmacists to manage medications and  health.  

We also plan to engage you, the pharmacist, more during APhM. We need your help to actually reach your patients about what you can do and how you can help them. Over the next year, we will be putting together patient communication materials that you can use in your pharmacy in time for APhM 2013, including the new slogan emphasizing the importance of your role. These materials will be an excellent resource for your team to draw in patients and talk with them about how they can be better managing their health and their medications with the help of their pharmacist. If every one of the 300,000 pharmacists in this country talks to just two patients about their medications during October, think of the impact on health care we could make.

So, what does American Pharmacists Month mean to me? Pharmacists practicing at the tops of highly empowered licenses, collaborating with the entire health care team with linked electronic health records and collaborative practices that really take advantage of each profession’s strengths. And, I see thousands more pharmacists engaged in collaborative primary care roles. But first, we have to believe. Do you?

APhA Staff on Wear Red To Support Pharmacists Day at HQ