APhA emphasizes pharmacists' role at front of healthcare line

WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association wants to ensure that pharmacists continue to play a significant role in health care, and made the pharmacist’s ever-expanding role the main focus of its annual meeting in Seattle, which ended Monday.

“APhA’s strategic focus is on advancing the practice model and recognizing the pharmacist as an essential member of the healthcare team, empowering members to engage in expanded patient-care roles, advocating for the profession and patients, and growing leaders for APhA and pharmacy practice,” incoming president and Columbus, Ohio-based pharmacist Marialice Bennett said in her address, titled “Perseverance Will Lead to a Stronger Tomorrow.”

The conference, which drew more than 6,500 attendees, focused on such topics as medication therapy management, adherence, the Food and Drug Administration’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies, and pharmacogenomics.

“We have done remarkable work to build a globally recognized association and to ensure our profession’s future,” Bennett said. “But we can never rest when so many of our patients are struggling or when the miracles these medications can represent go unrealized. It is our responsibility to transition from making and providing medications for our patients to making medications work for our patients. As a profession, we must serve as the [medication therapy management] pharmacist for the American public and help patients make the best of their medications.”

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