The debate taking place among Drug Topics readers online and in print has more angles than a hall of mirrors. And as in a hall of mirrors, some perspectives may disguise the obvious. The pharmacist who wrote the following wants to refocus attention on the bottom line.
The latest craze in the pharmacy world is provider status. From students to deans to pharmacy organizations, provider status is front and center and considered of the utmost importance.
Why the urgency now? Why such a strong push to get this over and done with?
25 years of nothing doing
To put it bluntly, the profession of pharmacy is dying. The internet, cheap generics, FTC's ineptitude in keeping monopolies at bay, and legislation designed to sidestep pharmacists are just some of the reasons for the demise of the profession. The causes deserve a lengthy discussion beyond this article. Realizing that the profession may crumble, like an aging fortress, interested parties want to apply the patchwork of provider status.
From the APhA website: "Provider status: What pharmacists need to know now …. Pharmacists’ services have grown well beyond functions tied only to dispensing medications."
We were fed the same nonsense 25 years ago when I went to pharmacy school. We were told that we would become a part of the inner circle of the healthcare team. However, for 25 years, every single national organization did absolutely nothing to educate either the general public or the lawmakers about the importance of the role of the pharmacist.