Pharmacists have been involved with vaccines since the 1800s, but only for the past 20 years have they been actively involved in the routine immunization of patients. As the emphasis on preventive care continues to grow, many states are expanding the role of pharmacists as experts in immunizations. Currently, immunization is the No. 1 patient care service offered by community pharmacy, highlighting the important role pharmacists play in public health. According to the 2018 NCPA Digest, 73% of community pharmacies offer immunization services. If you subscribe to the glass-half-empty mentality, only 73% of independent community pharmacies offer immunizations.
APhA2018: Leading our Communities in Patient Care
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting and Exposition, APhA2018, held March 16-19, hosted over 6,300 pharmacists and student pharmacists in Nashville, TN. This year’s theme, Leading Our Communities in Patient Care, highlighted ways pharmacists are already impacting the health of their communities and advancing patient care, while thought leaders in the profession discussed how collaboration among pharmacists and other healthcare team members can further improve the quality of patient care services.
APhA2018 covered many of the profession’s most pressing issues, from innovative strategies for implementing patient care services in pharmacy practice to managing the stresses of today’s healthcare system, collaborating with medicine, and the pharmacists’ role in the opioid crises, including passionate discussions on the merits of naloxone and the critical role pharmacists play in the management of pain. Research and the real-life outcomes that result when prescribers and pharmacists collaborate were presented. “We can trust our primary care team, including our pharmacists, to hold us accountable”—to tell prescribers when they’re missing something important about that patient’s care, said Noah Nesin, MD, FAAFP, vice president of medical affairs at Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC).
Pharmacists and student pharmacists came from all over the country for the education, collaboration, and networking opportunities that are designed to help move the practice of pharmacy forward and advance APhA’s top legislative priority, achieving Provider Status. As stated in the Presidential address by APhA President, Nikki Hilliard, “We need to be known and appreciated for the strengths we bring to our communities and the care team. There is no good reason that pharmacists and their services are not recognized by [Medicare]. We are care providers—and really good ones too!”
APhA has already begun preparations for the APhA2019 meeting March 22-25, in Seattle. For information on APhA2019, contact APhA staff or visit Seattle Annual Meeting & Exposition.
About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA is dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care and is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com.