Pharm techs, biosimilars, testosterone to be discussed during ASHP online meeting

October 30, 2015

The role of pharmacy technicians, the naming of biosimilar drugs, and the appropriate use of testosterone are the three major issues that will be discussed during the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP) first virtual House of Delegates meeting.

The role of pharmacy technicians, the naming of biosimilar drugs, and the appropriate use of testosterone are the three major issues that will be discussed during the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP) first virtual House of Delegates meeting.

The online-only meeting, scheduled to be held November 13-20, allows delegates to take early action on ASHP policy recommendations through online discussion and voting.

ASHP members can log on to ASHP Connect (before November 13, 2015) to register to be a part of the House of Delegates community. Once a part of the community, ASHP members can join the discussion board to comment on upcoming policy recommendations.

The top 3 proposed policies are up for discussion during the online meeting are:

1. The role of pharmacy technicians. The purpose of the statement is to outline the evolving roles and responsibilities of pharmacy techs, describe a model for educating and certifying techs, and proposing a legal and regulatory structure that reflects the evolving nature of pharmacy tech responsibilities.  “To properly fill these roles, pharmacy technicians require standardized education, training, and competence assessment,” ASHP wrote in its House of Delegates Agenda. “ASHP advocates that states encourage this education, training, and assessment through the development and adoption of uniform state laws and regulations requiring licensure of pharmacy technicians.”

2. Nonproprietary naming of biological products. Originator biological products, related biological products, and biosimilar products should share the same global nonproprietary name as defined by the United States Adopted Name Council, the World Health Organization Programme on International Nonproprietary Names, and United States Pharmacopeial Convention. In addition, the delegates oppose unique nonproprietary naming for originator biological products, related biological products, and biosimilar products. “This policy recommendation was expedited for board and House of Delegates consideration because ASHP currently has no policy on naming of biological products, including biosimilar products, and the FDA is seeking comments on a proposed rule and guidance on the topic,” according to the Agenda.

 

3. Appropriate use of testosterone. The proposal is designed to educate pharmacists, patients, and the public about the risks and benefits of testosterone use and best practices for safe handling of testosterone. Healthcare providers should also be educated about the importance of including accurate testosterone levels and confirmed evidence of clinical symptoms in the evaluation of candidates for testosterone therapy. The House of Delegates is also encouraging additional research on the long-term effects of testosterone therapy. Review the policy recommendations at the ASHP House of Delegates website and ASHP Connect .