Expanded Roles for Pharmacists

Expanded roles for Pharmacists in Canada is of great benefit to both the Patients and their caregivers as well as to fellow professionals in the Health Care system. Pharmacists in Canada have recently been given broader responsibilities, including in some provinces, prescribing privileges, ability to order and interpret laboratory tests and to vaccinate and inject medications. Pharmacists in other countries such as the United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand are also increasingly involved in collaborative care arrangements. There is strong evidence that indicates pharmacists’ care can benefit patients, especially in providing vaccines and managing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, asthma and other conditions. One such benefit is because pharmacists, who have specialized expertise in drug dosing, drug interactions, pharmacology and related areas, can help physicians manage safe prescribing in complex (often elderly) patients taking 5 or more drugs. They can also help in tapering patients off medications.

Know your Pharmacist and ask your local elected Politicians to Recognize Pharmacists as Healthcare Providers as the expanded roles for Pharmacists can improve your health, lower healthcare costs and increase accountability in our health system.

Read news full article at: http://www.newswise.com/articles/expanded-role-for-pharmacists-is-an-opportunity-to-offer-better-patient-care

CMAJ Study PDF (FULL): http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2013/08/19/cmaj.121990

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Rebecca P. Snead on Pharmacist Provider Status

Rebecca P. Snead, RPh, the executive vice president and CEO of the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, discusses the current movement toward pharmacist provider status, and elaborates on the challenges and opportunities encountered.

This video was taken at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s 25th Annual Meeting & Expo in San Diego, CA, on April 4, 2013.

Video Credit: The American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC TV) — in San Diego, CA.
Rebecca P. Snead on Pharmacist Provider Status also on Facebook

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Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy on Provider Status for Pharmacists

Dear Mr. Soman,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the role of pharmacists in our nation’s healthcare system. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

Throughout my time in Congress, providing Americans with affordable, high-quality healthcare has been among my highest priorities. As a nurse for over thirty years, I have seen firsthand the positive results from providing quality healthcare at a price that is reasonable and affordable. I believe Congress must do all that it can to ensure that all Americans have access to dependable medical coverage that medical providers receive appropriate compensation for their services. As your representative, I will continue to work to improve our nation’s health care system, with the goal that all Americans can enjoy affordable, high-quality health care.

I appreciate your taking the time to share your proposal regarding the recognition of pharmacists as healthcare providers under the Social Security Act. I understand the important role played by pharmacists in the healthcare workforce. Pharmacists are critical figures in the American health care system, providing quality health care to millions of Americans. Please know that, as relevant legislation moves through the House of Representatives, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I encourage you to visit my website http://www.carolynmccarthy.house.gov where you can find various constituent services and sign up for my electronic newsletter. As always, please feel free to contact me regarding any matter of concern to you.

Sincerely,
Carolyn McCarthy
Member of Congress

More information:
Petition can be viewed HERE.

White House Rule Change

Due to the new changes in White House “We the People” petition website, our provider status petition may not be issued an official response from the administration. The new rules are:

AS OF JANUARY 15, 2013:

To cross the first threshold and be searchable within WhiteHouse.gov, a petition must reach 150 signatures within 30 days.

To cross the second threshold and require a response, a petition must reach 100,000 signatures within 30 days.

Since we reached 25,000 signatures and met the old petition threshold well before the final date, we might still have a shot at an official response from the White House. Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Meanwhile, remember that our fight does not end here despite whatever ends up happening. We still need to work together and push this through the legislative process to attain non-physician healthcare provider status for pharmacists.

APhA Article on Provider Status Petition

Pharmacists call for recognition as health care providers

APhA published an article on the provider status petition on the White House “We the People” site. Within 12 days, our petition reached the goal of 25,000 signatures. This effort has been a clear team effort and I thank every pharmacist, pharmacy intern, pharmacy technicians, students, patients, supporters, family members and organizations that supported this petition. The fight does not end here, we will have to work on a framework and work on the legislative aspect of this issue with our senators and congressional representatives. As APhA article stated, “The petition will be a public awareness–raising tool,” Soman said. “It’s not going to have a legislative impact. However, it will highlight the issue that pharmacists are underutilized in the health care system, as well as gain official recognition of this from the [Obama] administration.”

Read the FULL APhA article here.

Open Letter on the Petition to Recognize Pharmacists as Healthcare Providers

Dear Administrators, Faculty Members, PharmD Candidates and Friends,

We need to let our society understand the key roles that pharmacists have in ensuring positive health and clinical outcomes. This includes, but is not limited to, the safe and effective use (and delivery) of medication. The benefits to society and impacts on human lives cannot be overemphasized. Pharmacists are not only key healthcare providers, but also lifesavers. Hence the petition to recognize pharmacists as healthcare providers.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the positive impact that pharmacists could have on patients’ health, pharmacists are not recognized as healthcare providers under the Social Security Act, and therefore, cannot be paid by Medicare for medication therapy management and other patient consultation services. The Social Security Act currently recognizes other healthcare professionals, including dieticians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, and clinical social workers.

Thus, please join me in advocating for our profession, and let President Obama know that the pharmacists in the United States of America need to be given healthcare provider status. The website for the petition is https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/recognize-pharmacists-health-care-providers/3lkFWfvw

If 25,000 people sign this petition by January 26, 2013, President Obama will respond with an official statement of the administration on this critical issue, which would set the stage for the ACCP’s new policy on this issue for 2013.

Sincerely,

Steve Soman
Rho Chi Post Editor-in-Chief
PharmD Candidate 2013
St. John’s University
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

For more information visit:
1) ACCP Report and Policy on this issue for 2013: http://www.accp.com/report/?iss=1212&art=1
2) Explanation on the petition: http://thepharmacopedia.com/petition-to-recognize-pharmacists-as-health-care-providers/
3) Rho Chi Post Article on the issue by Dr. Sandra Leal – http://www.scribd.com/doc/85976311/Rho-Chi-Post-Vol-1-Issue-5-February-2012-Issue#page=17
4) Original Change.org petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-recognize-pharmacists-as-health-care-providers

 

Petition to Recognize Pharmacists as Health Care Providers

As you may already know, Sandra Leal, PharmD, CDE, started on Change.org a petition to recognize pharmacists as health care providers addressed to the President of the United States of America. Since the right to petition our government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, The White House created the Petition website titled “We the People” to provide a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response. Since no pharmacy related petition has been started on the website, the same petition started by Dr. Leal no Change.org was published on the website “We The People” by St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate, Steve Soman.

As of the time of this post, the Change.org petition by Dr. Leal has garnered 21,933 supporters. Since “We The People” (hence forth referred to as the White House Petition Site), website has a threshold for the amount of votes a petition needs to be addressed by the administration. The new rules, as of October 2011 is:

To cross the first threshold and be searchable within WhiteHouse.gov, a petition must reach 150 signatures within 30 days.

To cross the second threshold and require a response, a petition must reach 25,000 signatures within 30 days.

Hence, your participation and votes are needed. Please vote using the following URL and share the link with your Pharmacy Interns, Pharmacy Technicians, Pharmacists, friends and family members. The URL to the White House Petition Site is: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/recognize-pharmacists-health-care-providers/3lkFWfvw  The original petition to recognize pharmacists as health care providers can be found (and signed) on Change.org via this URL: https://www.change.org/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-recognize-pharmacists-as-health-care-providers

Due to the limitations of the White House Petition Site, the original petition to recognize pharmacists as health care providers had to be shortened to fit the White House guidelines. Thus the new petition reads as follows:

We petition the obama administration to:

Recognize pharmacists as health care providers!

Despite overwhelming evidence of the positive impact pharmacists can have on patient health, pharmacists are not recognized as healthcare providers under the Social Security Act and, therefore, cannot be paid by Medicare for therapy management and patient consultation services. The Social Security Act does recognize other healthcare professionals such as dieticians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, and clinical social workers.

By changing the compensation structure allowed under Medicare, we can ensure that patients have access to the medication expertise of pharmacists. Studies have shown that when a pharmacist is directly involved in patient care, patients have fewer adverse drug reactions, experience improved outcomes, and healthcare costs are reduced.

Your votes and help is appreciated. Please spread the word and stand up for our pharmacy profession. We do so much to advocate for the patients and help our communities, its time that we receive some recognition of that. More than that, its a patient safety issue.

As Dr. Leal stated in her original petition;

The perils of adverse effects from taking multiple medications affect all age groups. According to a recent survey, just over half of all Americans take at least 2 medications each day and nearly one-third take 4 or more medications each day. For the Medicare population, medication use is even higher — nearly half of Americans aged 65 and older take at least 4 medications each day.

ACCP has also launched a new initiative to seek provider status for clinical pharmacists working in all practice settings. That report and details on such proposal can be read at the ACCP Website.

This is a critical safety issue!! Your signatures and voices matter, so sign the petition today!

Linezolid for Treatment of Chronic Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis — NEJM

Linezolid (Zyvox, Pfizer) was approved in 2000 for drug-resistant, gram-positive bacterial infections.A member of the oxazolidinone antibiotic class, linezolid inhibits protein synthesis by binding the 23S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) portion of the bacterial 50S ribosomal subunit.In adults, linezolid is administered at a dose of 600 mg twice daily, with phase 3 and postmarketing trials showing an acceptable side-effect and adverse-event profile during the FDA-approved 28 days of therapy.Data on longer-term use are limited, but serious neuropathies (e.g., peripheral and optic neuropathies), myelosuppression, and hyperlactatemia have been observedand are considered to be related to the inhibition of mitochondrial protein synthesis.

Linezolid exhibits in vitro bacteriostatic activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, including multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) strains, with a minimum inhibitory concentration of less than 1 μg per milliliter. It has only modest activity in murine models of tuberculosis. A study of the early and extended bactericidal activity of linezolid showed only minimal early activity (during the initial 2 days) and no late activity (during the subsequent 5 days), with the authors concluding that linezolid had little tissue-sterilizing ability and therefore had a limited role in the treatment of MDR tuberculosis.Despite these characteristics, a number of case reports and retrospective studies suggest that linezolid may be effective in treating MDR and XDR tuberculosis.These studies all have important limitations, including a retrospective design, small numbers, the use of linezolid with multiple other active agents, no controls, and limited follow-up. This apparent discrepancy between preclinical data and clinical observations prompted us to undertake a prospective, randomized trial of linezolid in patients with chronic XDR tuberculosis who did not have a response to all other available chemotherapeutic options.

Read More at: Linezolid for Treatment of Chronic Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis — NEJM.

The Shortfalls of Obamacare — NEJM

U.S. health care suffers from three major problems: millions of people go without insurance, health care costs are rising at unaffordable rates, and the quality of care is not what it should be. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) primarily addresses the first — and easiest — of these problems by expanding coverage to a substantial number of the uninsured. Solutions to the other two remain aspirations and promises.

Read more at: The Shortfalls of “Obamacare” — NEJM.