WASHINGTON, DC – A new report released by U.S. Public Health Service provides a resource to advance beyond discussion of pharmacists in expanded roles and move toward implementation. The report has also earned support for the recognition of pharmacists as health care providers and clinicians. The report, Improving Patient and Health System Outcomes through Advanced Pharmacy Practice – A Report to the Surgeon General 2011, produced letters of support from prominent members of the medical community including the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA.
“The report demonstrates through evidence-based outcomes, that many pharmacy practice models improve patient and health system outcomes and optimize primary care access and delivery,” stated Benjamin in her letter of support for the report. “It also provides the evidence health leaders and policy makers need to support evidence-based models of cost effective patient care that utilize the expertise and contributions of our nation’s pharmacists as an essential part of the healthcare team.”
The report provides rationale and discussion points to support pharmacists currently delivering patient care services through collaborative practice agreements with physicians and other primary care clinicians, as an accepted model of improved health care delivery that can meet growing health care demands in the United States. Timing of this discussion is vital as health reform has stimulated exploration of innovative care models and payment reform to improve access to care, improve the quality of care, and provide cost-effective care. The report discusses current and future demands on the health care system, including the challenge of aligning health care coverage with access to care, the increasing burden of chronic care needs and primary care provider shortages.
“Pharmacists in the Public Health Service have been positively affecting the lives of their patients while saving money for nearly 50 years,” said RADM Scott Giberson, U.S. Assistant Surgeon General and Chief Professional Officer, Pharmacy, and one of the co-authors of the report. “This report demonstrates the value pharmacists bring when they become full members of the health care team. Pharmacists are clearly an important part of the solution to rapidly escalating health care costs and to improving health care delivery. Maximizing the expertise and scope of pharmacists, and minimizing expansion barriers to successful health care delivery models, is the right thing to do for our patients.”
“The discussion and evidence-based models compiled in this report are great examples of the quality care and sustainable patient outcomes that pharmacists provide to their patients and the healthcare system,” stated Thomas Menighan, APhA, CEO and Executive Vice President. “APhA is excited to see the amazing recognition of pharmacists as health care providers that this report has earned in the medical community, especially from Dr. Benjamin. The report clearly demonstrates that pharmacists can increase quality and decrease costs when barriers are removed. The time has come for pharmacists to be recognized as health care providers and essential members of the health care team. We look forward to further advocating for the recognition of pharmacists’ services and partnering with the health care community to ensure those services are widely implemented.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Michelle Fritts
January 9, 2012
About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States.