Dr. Koda-Kimble, Rep. Waxman Honored at APhA meeting

March 17, 2010

Clinical pharmacy pioneer Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, and Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) were among those honored last weekend at the Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in Washington, D.C.

Clinical pharmacy pioneer Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, PharmD, and Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) were among those honored last weekend at the Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in Washington, D.C.

Koda-Kimble, dean of the School of Pharmacy at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), was awarded the 2010 Remington Honor Medal, the highest honor given by the American Pharmacists Association. Her pioneering work included the publication in 1975 of the first clinical pharmacy textbook of its kind, “Applied Therapeutics for Clinical Pharmacists.”

“I still have a feeling of disbelief. I have never done my work with an external award in mind,” Koda-Kimble told Drug Topics. However, the APhA recognition has led Koda-Kimble to reflect on all the lessons she has learned about pharmacy and education during her 40 years at UCSF.

“I am thankful for the tremendous good fortune I have had in working with the most amazing, brilliant, and talented people, here at UCSF and throughout the nation,” Koda-Kimble said.

Koda-Kimble’s contributions to the world of academic clinical pharmacy have been extensive. In addition to publishing 16 books and 36 articles, Koda-Kimble was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2008 and has served on the boards of the United States Pharmacopeia and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

The pharmacist’s role in healthcare has progressed significantly since she joined the profession, Koda-Kimble noted. “Rather than imagining the future, I simply turn to examples of how pharmacists’ roles have changed. Who would have thought that my colleagues and former students would become, for example, CEOs of hospitals, senior editors of international journals, chief science officers in biotech companies, and senior vice presidents at major pharmaceutical companies?” she said.

Today, many pharmacists are in a position to affect the healthcare landscape “by addressing the gaps in patient care, especially as they relate to medicines,” Koda-Kimble said. “My focus is on preparing those who will create the future - our students - and to nurture and encourage those who are taking risks to change practice approaches for betterment of patients.”

To that end, Koda-Kimble said, she must prepare students who are adept in scientific, clinical, and policy arenas. Pharmacy students must also be leaders “who will move things forward, improve systems, and make breakthroughs needed to meet our ever-changing healthcare needs,” she said.

As far as Koda-Kimble’s own future work in the field of pharmacy education is concerned, there are many important issues she would like to address, she said, including access to medicines, safe use of medicines, personalized medicines, medication management of patients with chronic diseases, geriatric medicine, preventative care, self-care, and the operational management of complex systems of medication distribution.

Koda-Kimble’s single-mindedness in advancing the pharmacy profession led Robert D. Gibson, PharmD, the 2006 Remington Medalist, to write in his letter nominating her for the award: “It is not only the sheer quality and quantity of her accomplishments, but also her leadership, her steadfast dedication, and her sustained commitment to education, the public good, and the advancement of the profession, that make her a more than deserving nominee.”

In another event taking place at the APhA meeting, Congressman Waxman was awarded the “Distinguished Person of the Year Award” at the annual PPSI (Pharmacists Planning Service) breakfast for his longstanding efforts in advancing consumer healthcare and pharmacy.

“He has done more for healthcare than anyone else I know of, in my 55 years as a public health community activist. He has been absolutely fantastic for the pharmacy profession and consumers,” said Fred S. Mayer, RPh, MPh, president of PPSI and head of the editorial advisory board of Drug Topics.

Not only is Waxman a leader in supporting President Obama’s current healthcare plan, he was instrumental in passage of Medicare Part D legislation that gave seniors access to prescription drugs, said Mayer. “He has been a leader on health and environmental issues from universal healthcare to reproductive rights,” Mayer said.