Pharmacists in Action, October 2012

What pharmacists are doing across the country

Making pharmacists’ patient care services consistent, predictable, measurable

The spectrum of patient care services that pharmacists can provide is broad. That’s a good thing—but it can be a problem when patients and payers don’t know what to expect.

APhA and other members of the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP) recognize the implications of this situation, and we are actively working to address it. By establishing a standardized process of care for pharmacists’ patient care services, easy-to-understand descriptions of the services we deliver, and agreed-upon terminology for our services, the profession will be in a better position to market its services and gain increased recognition for consistent, predictable, and measurable contributions to the health care team.

Pharmacists’ medication therapy expertise makes medication management services our profession’s “sweet spot,” but pharmacists are well positioned to offer a range of additional services that can include  chronic disease management, health and wellness programs, immunizations, primary care services, public health responses and surveillance, and specialty pharmacy programs. As we are increasingly successful in developing patient care services, payers need to know what we did—or what we were supposed to do—when we send them a bill for a given set of services. Patients will expect to receive predictable, consistent care, regardless of the setting in which the pharmacist is encountered. Physicians will expect that we used a consistent patient care process in interacting with patients, whether the care involved an influenza immunization or an MTM session.

As with the accreditation process we are developing for community pharmacy practices, establishment of well-defined and uniformly adopted processes and terminology for pharmacist-delivered patient care services is essential in our health care system. Other professions have them, and we need them. On your behalf, APhA and other JCPP member organizations will be seeking your input during this process.

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

We know that when pharmacists, nurse practitioners, allied health workers, [and] office staff are all involved in care, we can see dramatic and rapid improvements in blood pressure control.

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, Director of CDC, during a recent telebriefing about high blood pressure

Media vibe

During the month of August, APhA External Communications and Media Advisors responded to five media inquiries, including the following:

  • Crittenden’s Medical Insurance: Trends in pharmacist insurance
  • Pharmacy Practice News: Recent approval of Onyx Kyprolis and its distribution through specialty pharmacies only
  • Managed Care: Pharmacy benefit managers, prior authorization, and electronic record technology
  • Managed Care: Supportive medicines and dual therapy
  • Parade: Proper use of OTC products that contain acetaminophen

Did you know?

As an APhA member, you no longer have to make a choice between receiving the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (JPharmSci) or the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA). You can access both publications online!

JPharmSci is transitioning to an online-only publication though Wiley Online Library to allow for greater use and additional content—more papers will be published and more members will have access to this valuable resource. For step-by-step instructions to access JPharmSci, visit and log in to start browsing.

The new JAPhA website debuted earlier this year. Members can log in and have complete access to current articles and an extensive archive of past JAPhA content.

Both websites feature a clean and simple interface, delivering intuitive navigation, enhanced discoverability, expanded functionalities, and a range of personalization and alerting options to put more information at your fingertips and save you time. Sign up for e-mail alerts and RSS feeds, search for related content, and click through to references.

The value of MTM

Medication-related problems are a serious public health concern. An estimated 1.5 million preventable adverse events occur each year. See for yourself the difference pharmacists can make by providing medication therapy management (MTM) services. Go to to read about successful statewide MTM implementations, review your state’s advocacy fact sheets on MTM, and much more.

36 million

The estimated number of people in the United States who have high blood pressure but don’t have it under control.

Source: CDC.

On the go

APhA leaders and staff travel throughout the country to promote the profession and be the voice for pharmacy. Following is a sample of leaders’ and members’ work during August.

  • Several APhA staff members participated in the National Association of Chain Drug Stores 2012 Pharmacy & Technology Conference. They gathered intelligence, created and continued to build relationships with business partners, highlighted key APhA programs, and promoted products and services at the exhibit booth and around the expo. APhA staff in attendance included Brian Gallagher, BSPharm, JD, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs; Kristen Binaso, BSPharm, CCP, FASCP, Senior Director, Corporate Alliances; Douglas Lobdell, BSPharm, MS, Senior Director, Corporate Alliances; Marcie Bough, PharmD, Senior Director of Government Affairs; Liz Cardello, BSPharm, Director, Corporate Alliances; Peter VanPelt, BSPharm, Associate Director, Corporate Alliances; Frank Bennicasa, Publisher; and L. Michael Posey, BSPharm, MA, Editor, Pharmacy Today. Lisa Scholz, PharmD, MBA, Vice President, Pharmacy Services Support Center, spoke at the meeting about the 340B Drug Pricing Program and 340B contract pharmacies. Denver
  • Lobdell participated in a “White Coat Ceremony” at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Minneapolis Campus. Lobdell helped welcome the Class of 2016 to the college and to the profession of pharmacy on behalf of the University of Minnesota Century Mortar Club, an alumni group that supports student activities. Minneapolis

APhA2013: Destination Los Angeles

Find out if the old adage, “The west is best,” holds true at the 2013 APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition held March 1–4, 2013, at the Los Angeles (LA) Convention Center. You might come to APhA2013 for the networking and education, but don’t forget to check out all the activities and culture that LA has to offer! With 75 miles of coastline, more than 300 museums, seven professional sports teams, and 200 colleges and universities, LA has something for everyone.

City of Angels

APhA’s headquarters hotel, the JW Marriott, is within walking distance of the convention center and places attendees right in the heart of LA LIVE, the city’s premier entertainment complex. Foodies will delight in the diversity of fresh, exotic cuisine found in neighborhoods like Thai Town, Persian Square, and Little Osaka. Sports fans, art lovers, and culture buffs will find their niche in one of LA’s many venues. Catch a Lakers game at the Staples Center (hint: they’re playing at 6:30 pm on March 3), enjoy a concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall (hint: on March 1, Gustavo Dudamels is conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic), visit the La Brea Tar Pits (hint: excavations are still under way), or wander through the exhibits at the Getty (hint: check out special installations featuring medieval manuscripts and the work of Robert Mapplethorpe).

Professional development

In addition to the excitement of LA, APhA2013 provides a unique venue for advancing your career through networking, education, and advocacy. Boasting over 80 education sessions and more than 20 hours of continuing education, APhA2013 is the place to tap in to the knowledge base of APhA’s 60,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and others interested in advancing the profession.

This year’s rallying cry, “Your Voice, Your Profession, Our Legacy” shines the spotlight on pharmacists’ critical role in patient care. Special attention will be given to the challenges facing pharmacists today, and you’ll find expert advice on what you need to do right now to improve your practice.

Getting there

Traveling to APhA2013 is easy. Several commercial airports, two long-distance Amtrak routes, and a variety of regional rail options serve LA. For local travelers, Metro Blue Line’s Pico station will take you directly to the convention center located at 1201 South Figueroa Street. For more information, and to register, visit

Leslie Toussaint
Contributing writer

Daily Planet helps Richmond’s homeless patients

Visiting with Daily Planet CEO Peter Prizzio (center) are (L–R): Farah Towfic, former APhA Foundation Executive Resident; Laura Gordon, VP, APhA Foundation; Leonard Edloe, APhA Foundation Board Member; and Mindy Smith, APhA Foundation Executive Director.

Members of the APhA Foundation and the APhA Foundation Board of Directors recently visited Daily Planet, a Project IMPACT: Diabetes community site located in Richmond, VA. A federally qualified health center serving the homeless population, Daily Planet has worked to provide Richmond’s homeless community with resources for clinical, mental, and dental care and shower and laundry services, as well as social services referrals, for more than 40 years.

Jean-Venable “Kelly” Goode, PharmD, BCPS, FAPhA, FCCP, is the Project IMPACT: Diabetes Community Coordinator at Daily Planet. Goode and a team of professionals help patients manage their chronic illness from a position of strength and knowledge about their disease, rather than a position of vulnerability, based upon their circumstances. (Read Pharmacy Today’s profile of the Daily Planet’s Project IMPACT team, “Reaching out in Richmond,” on page 58 of our July issue.)

“When we talked to some of the people who are helped by the Project IMPACT program, the overwhelming feeling I got was one of empowerment,” said Laura Gordon, Vice President of the APhA Foundation. Within moments of sitting down with APhA staff, the patients animatedly described how they had learned to fill their plates with healthy foods, how they measured their blood sugar to ensure they were staying on course with their diabetes, and how much they enjoyed talking with the Daily Planet’s staff.

“The result is that patients who once had uncontrolled diabetes, and who continue to face homelessness, abject poverty and addiction, now are articulate owners of their own health future,” said Gordon.

Programs such as Project IMPACT must grow beyond studies and pilot projects. Your donations allow the APhA Foundation to share our knowledge and resources. Support the APhA Foundation today at

Board certification: Trend grows in patient care

For 2012, a record high of more than 5,000 applicants was achieved for Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) examinations. This follows a trend where the number of Board-Certified Pharmacists has doubled in the last 5 years to 12,900 worldwide. “As the scope of pharmacy practice evolves to meet the complex medication-related needs of patients, board certification is critical to assuring quality patient care and will be needed to assure stakeholders of the level of knowledge and experience of the pharmacists who assume these roles,” said Bill Ellis, Executive Director of BPS.

With the role of the pharmacist continuing to expand in today’s health care environment, it is increasingly important to recognize the specialized knowledge, training, and skills that will help optimize therapeutic outcomes for individual patients. Board certification through BPS has become the internationally recognized gold standard for identifying pharmacists who are most qualified to contribute to patient care at advanced practice levels.

Certification on a global scale

Pharmacists worldwide continue to assume greater patient care responsibilities and participate in collaborative practices. This calls for an increase in the need for international board certified pharmacists. The number of International BPS Board-Certified Pharmacists continues to rise. In October 2011, there were 479 International BPS Board-Certified Pharmacists in 33 countries worldwide. In 2012, this number rose to 781 and has the potential to nearly double, as 754 pharmacists are currently approved to take the 2012 exam abroad. In September 2011, for the first time, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy provided a 3-day, live pharmacotherapy review course in Asia. This course was specifically aimed at those planning on seeking BPS board certification in pharmacotherapy and aimed to enhance attendees’ clinical judgment and practice skills. As the worldwide need for board certified pharmacists rises, board certification will continue to grow internationally. The 2012 BPS board certification exams will be offered at 77 sites worldwide, which have increased from 73 in 2011.

The future of certification

The Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners envisions that by 2015, pharmacists will be working collaboratively with other health professionals and will be autonomously responsible for optimizing therapeutic outcomes for patients. As pharmacists assume greater responsibility for direct patient care, including medication therapy management (MTM), and pharmacy technicians assist in the filling and distribution of prescriptions, patients will begin to expect clinical services from pharmacists. As the most accessible health professionals, pharmacists will begin to be recognized as health care providers and will be reimbursed for the MTM services they provide. Board certification will be integrated into this plan, aiding pharmacists in their evolving role on the health care team and ensuring that pharmacists possess the specialized knowledge and skills needed to be a clinical practitioner.

Exploring new specialties

There are currently six specialties recognized by BPS, including nuclear pharmacy, nutrition support pharmacy, oncology pharmacy, pharmacotherapy, psychiatric pharmacy, and ambulatory care pharmacy. With the initial examination administered in 2011, ambulatory care pharmacy is the first new specialty since 1996. “Over the past 2 years, BPS has begun the process to explore new specialties in pain and palliative care, pediatrics, critical care, cardiology and infectious diseases,” said Ellis. “These activities demonstrate the commitment of BPS to recognize pharmacy specialties and certify pharmacists’ knowledge and skill at the advanced practice level.”

The investigation into potential new specialties is consistent with the increased interest and recognition of BPS specialty certification over the past 5 years “where the number of board-certified pharmacists has doubled,” Ellis added.

Additional information

Although registration for the 2012 exam is closed, materials specific to the 2013 BPS examination cycle will be available on the BPS website in early 2013. For more information about BPS and the board certification process, visit

Anna Chmielewska, PharmD candidate
Contributing writer

A Minute With …

SFC Robert Traquair, CPhT
United States Army
Heidelberg Health Clinic, Heidelberg, Germany
Member since 2011

My current job is … Transformation and Special Projects Non-Commissioned Officer. I am responsible for all issues regarding transformation, automation upgrades, the Joint Commission continuous readiness, and any new or special project the pharmacy at Heidelberg Health Clinic is involved with.

I first become interested in pharmacy … When I enlisted in the Army in 1992, pharmacy technician was one of the job choices I was given. I had no real idea what I was getting into. After completing my schooling, I absolutely fell in love with the profession. I can’t think of any better job than to provide the best pharmaceutical care to our active duty soldiers, veterans, and all the military beneficiaries.

I joined APhA because … I wanted to keep abreast of all the changes in the pharmacy field, changes in medication therapies and new medications, changes in pharmacist responsibilities, and how all those changes would affect technician duties.

The advice I give to pharmacists who want to follow my career path … I would advise all pharmacy technicians to learn as much about the medications, their uses, their dosages, their interactions, and their warnings as they possibly can. I would tell them to always be patient focused and do what they can to take care of the patient without it being unethical, illegal, or immoral. I would tell them to always think about what they are doing, that a mistake that potentially endangers their patients is not good enough. It has to be perfect.

Professionally I want to … see a Licensed Pharmacy Technician or a Pharmacist Assistant Technician position that would have increased educational requirements and increased responsibilities.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, I’d choose my mom because … she died when I was 11 years old and I would like for her to see the soldier and person I have become. I would like her to see the honest, hardworking man that I am. I would like her to hear about the soldiers and civilians I have instructed, mentored, and have hopefully had a lifelong impact on. I think she would be proud of what I do, who I am, and what I have become.

Business model for a successful MTM practice

How to Start an MTM Practice: A Guidebook for Pharmacists is a comprehensive road map designed to guide the pharmacist in developing a business model for a successful medication therapy management (MTM) service.

This APhA publication is a practical, no-nonsense workbook developed specifically for the multitasking and time-strapped pharmacist. The guidebook lays the groundwork and highlights the critical factors that are necessary for a successful MTM program. Each chapter centers on a main idea and includes questions to guide the reader in the development of an MTM plan.

The book focuses on 20 focal points for designing a successful business model for your specific MTM model, complete with marketing tools, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, checklists, and tables to guide you through the process from the initial start-up to analyzing outcomes. Links to MTM-related websites and appendices for more specific information regarding MTM services are provided at the end of each chapter. It is important to note that this book is not a course on the pharmaceutical skills or therapeutic knowledge involved with MTM. Rather, it felt more like an initial business course with a focus on the MTM model.

Few services are available for pharmacists that address the need for MTM-specific business development. This guidebook is a conglomeration of advice from national MTM experts and leaders who have successfully implemented patient care services in their practices, guiding the pharmacist in determining the perfect model for his or her specific pharmacy, whether it is federal, chain, or consultant pharmacy. Even if the reader is not in a managerial position, this book helps the pharmacist understand the various operational and business issues that affect MTM services.

If you are a pharmacist in charge of implementing an MTM service, or merely a pharmacist in the precontemplation stage of starting one, grab a copy.  You won’t regret it!

LT Honeylit Katje Cueco, PharmD, NCPS
Southcentral Foundation, Alaska Native Primary Care Center

American Pharmacists Association
Item 427
2012; softcover; 45 pp.

Members only

Matthew C. Osterhaus, BSPharm, FASCP, FAPhA, of Maquoketa, IA, was elected the 2013–14 President-elect of APhA. Nancy A. Alvarez, PharmD, FAPhA, Director of Medical Information at Endo Pharmaceuticals, and Ronald H. Small, BSPharm, MBA, FAPhA, FASHP, Medication Management Consultant at Joint Commission Resources, were elected to serve 3-year terms on APhA’s Board of Trustees beginning in March 2013. Norman A. Campbell, PhD, FAPhA, Professor of Pharmacy Administration at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island, was elected as the 2013–14 Honorary President. Melody Ryan, PharmD, MPH, Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, was elected 2013–14 President-elect of the APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research & Science.

Matthew Machado, PharmD, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Jeffery A. Goad, PharmD, MPH, Associate Professor at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, were recognized by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation during the association’s 2012 Pharmacy and Technology Conference. Machado was the recipient of the NACDS Foundation Pharmacy Preceptor of the Year Award, and Goad received the NACDS Foundation Community Pharmacy Faculty Award.

The Texas Pharmacy Association presented Dennis Song, BSPharm, owner of Flower Mound Pharmacy in Flower Mound, TX, with the 2012 Bowl of Hygeia Award for outstanding community service. Song was honored for his efforts to expand the role of pharmacists in Texas.

Purdue University College of Pharmacy students Jennifer Barth and Carmine Colavecchia collected more than 1,000 unwanted or outdated medications over a 5-month period as part of a medication collection drive to help patients properly dispose of medications.

APhA members at CVS Pharmacy in El Monte, CA, provided free health screenings as part of the company’s Project Health campaign. California state Sen. Ed Hernandez, OD (D-24) visited the pharmacy to help raise awareness about the importance of vaccines.

Members can share news about promotions, new positions, and awards with the rest of APhA by e-mailing the details—who, what, when, and where—to Photographs, in the form of high-resolution TIFF or JPEG files, are welcome.