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Office of Surgeon General Recognizes Pharmacists’ Effectiveness

The Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) strongly supports the findings in the Improving Patient and Health System Outcomes through Advanced Pharmacy Practice released Monday from the Office of the Chief Pharmacist, U.S. Public Health Service.  The report emphasizes the importance of the pharmacist in patient care.

In a letter released from Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, U.S. Surgeon General, she states, “This report provides the evidence health leaders and policy makers need to support evidence-based models of cost effective patient care that utilizes the expertise and contributions of our nation's pharmacists as an essential part of the healthcare team.”

Key recommendations of the report:

  1. Health leaders and policy makers should further explore ways to optimize the role of pharmacists to deliver a variety of patient-centered care and disease prevention, in collaboration with physicians or as part of the healthcare team.
  2. Utilization of pharmacists as an essential part of the healthcare team to prevent and manage disease in collaboration with other clinicians can improve quality, contain costs, and increase access to care.
  3. Recognition of pharmacists as health care provider, clinicians and an essential part of the health care team is appropriate given the level of care they provided in many health care settings.
  4. Compensation models, reflective of the range of care provided by pharmacists, are needed to sustain these patient oriented, quality improvement services.

“These findings are just the latest in a series of studies that illustrate the numerous ways pharmacists are changing health care for the better in their communities," said Ernest Boyd, Executive Director of OPA. “The availability, accessibility, and capabilities of pharmacists make them natural resources to tap for solving many of the tough issues that face health care today. The cost savings and better outcomes provided by pharmacists with smoking cessation, pain & diabetes management, medication adherence, and medication therapy management (MTM) are all good indicators as to why the Surgeon General is trumpeting pharmacists as an integral part of the health care team.”

The full report and the support letter signed by Dr. Benjamin are accessible at:  http://www.usphs.gov/corpslinks/pharmacy/.

The Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA), established in 1879, represents more than 4,000 pharmacists, pharmacy educators, and pharmacy students throughout the state. It is OPA’s mission to unite the profession of pharmacy and encourage interprofessional relations, while promoting public health through education, discussion, and legislation.

 


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