APhA annual meeting focuses on role of pharmacists in the 21st century



Almost 6,000 pharmacists and student pharmacists from every type of pharmacy practice converged on Los Angeles March 1-4 to attend the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting & Exposition, known as APhA2013. Changes in delivery of healthcare services and the evolving role of pharmacists as patient-care providers were primary themes addressed over the course of the meeting.

According to a statement released by APhA, “The Affordable Care Act, Medicare Part D, state-based healthcare challenges, and national quality initiatives will dramatically alter the landscape” of healthcare delivery. In response to such challenges, the organization stated, its strategic agenda is based on the importance of articulating the profession’s interests in a “strong and compelling voice for pharmacy.”

The meeting’s general sessions addressed such topics as “Pharmacy's Role in the Transformation of the Healthcare System,” presented by Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, and “Adapting to Evolving Healthcare Delivery Models,” presented by Michael Leavitt, former three-term Governor of Utah and former Secretary of Health and Human Services. APhA President-elect Steven T. Simenson, BSPharm, FAPhA, FACA, FACVP, gave an address titled “The Power of a Strong Voice,” stating, pharmacists “want to be recognized and accepted by the public, payers, policymakers, and our peers as healthcare providers who contribute to improving access, quality, and value to healthcare.” He told the attendees, “To make those changes a reality, we need your voice. Experience, knowledge, and skills will and should all play a role in positioning pharmacists on the healthcare team . . . Pharmacists, who improve patient health outcomes and provide value and cost savings, will be recognized.”

Subjects addressed by the APhA House of Delegates during the meeting included revisions to the medication classification system, ensuring access to pharmacists’ services, and medication take-back/disposal programs. For information on these and other items of business, click here.  

The theme of next year’s annual meeting is “The Power and Promise of Pharmacy.” It will take place March 28-31 in Orlando, Fla. 

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