How these luminaries helped shape pharmacy

March 19, 2007

In recognition of the many shining stars who have guided the profession over the years, Drug Topics caught up with four leaders who have helped shape the practice of health-system pharmacy. These luminaries discussed some of the pressing issues they faced during their tenure at the helm of ASHP as well as their opinions about the future of the profession.

In recognition of the many shining stars who have guided the profession over the years, Drug Topics caught up with four leaders who have helped shape the practice of health-system pharmacy. These luminaries discussed some of the pressing issues they faced during their tenure at the helm of ASHP as well as their opinions about the future of the profession.

Joe Oddis

During Oddis' tenure at ASHP, he witnessed the rise of the pharmacy technician movement, expanded clinical roles for pharmacists, and promoted pharmacy residency programs. More recently, he has been solidly behind pharmacists' taking greater responsibility for drug safety. "It's a natural outcome for pharmacists, who are best trained to perform that kind of function," he said.

Nowadays, he stays in the health-system pharmacy loop by attending ASHP staff meetings on a regular basis. He keeps abreast of the latest pharmaceutical literature and industry news and sits on the council of the International Pharmaceutical Federation. Over his long and stellar career Oddis has witnessed sweeping changes in health-system pharmacy. Now he sits back with pride and satisfaction, knowing that he helped to bring about some of those changes.

Harold Godwin

A former president of ASHP, Godwin was also in the forefront of the all-Pharm.D. initiative. "Before we had this hodge-podge of degrees," he said, adding that the transition helped to perpetuate interest in residency programs. During his tenure as ASHP president in the early 1980s, he was deeply involved in several key initiatives, including the advancement of hospital formularies, an expanded role for pharmacists in clinical areas, and disease state management. He has also been behind the push for greater pharmacy leadership and for the establishment of chief pharmacy officers. "Pharmacists never really were at the big table," he noted. "We had someone else translating for us what our needs were."

Godwin said that it is critical to have pharmacists in key decision-making roles in the areas of physician order entry, bar-coding, and overall drug safety.

Regarding the challenges that face health-system pharmacists down the road, Godwin is solidly behind the ASHP 2015 initiative. He is also a strong proponent of unifying the practice of pharmacy at all levels of acute care. The concept of medication reconciliation and having a portable patient profile that can be used wherever a patient goes is also vital, he said. "I see this golden opportunity to have a collaborative practice with pharmacy in all settings."