Last year, we took challenges head on and achieved many successes. Through collaborative efforts among APhA’s leadership, our exceptional staff, and thousands of dedicated volunteers, we engaged the Association in the most important issues faced by pharmacists. Here are a few highlights:
APhA continued to make remarkable progress in promoting the role of the pharmacist as a patient care provider. The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592/S. 314) was introduced into both congressional chambers in January. We continued our leadership with the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition and through APhA’s Pharmacists Provide Care campaign that resulted in 21,000 online supporters sending more than 37,000 letters to Congress through APhA’s efforts. By the end of 2015, 262 U.S. representatives and 39 U.S. senators had signed on as cosponsors of the bills (as I write this, we are at 264 and 41)!
We also addressed prescription misuse and abuse. Last year, the White House invited APhA to participate in finding solutions to curb opioid abuse. As part of a national effort coordinated by the Obama administration, APhA has developed a Resource Center on pharmacist.com to educate the pharmacy profession about this public health issue. And importantly, last June, we held the inaugural session of the APhA Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies at the University of Utah. The university has a long history of providing education and support in this area, but was at risk of going away. With APhA’s leadership and commitment, this longstanding program will continue to be accessible for the pharmacy profession.
APhA penned numerous comment letters to Congress and regulatory agencies articulating the perspectives of pharmacists (see pharmacist.com). Our comments were guided by APhA’s policies on issues ranging from Medicare coverage and payment policies to drug product quality and classification. In addition, APhA staff and members provided testimony before congressional and regulatory bodies. The diversity and history of APhA has positioned the organization as a trusted and respected entity.
Our impact and leadership in patient care has been recognized by the CDC, HHS, FDA, and colleague health care organizations. APhA’s leadership and commitment to the recognition and implementation of JCPP’s Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process led to the publishing of a book to support pharmacist implementation of the process and education of colleagues regarding pharmacists’ role on the healthcare team.
In 2015, APhA launched several new and exciting training initiatives:
APhA also provides a myriad of opportunities for members to network and learn from their colleagues across practice settings.
This is only a high-level view of some of ways that APhA remains committed to making sure pharmacists have the resources and information they need to grow their practice, help patients, and make their voice is heard. I encourage you to read the entire 2015 APhA Annual Report on pharmacist.com.