This Sunday marks the first day of October and the start of American Pharmacists Month, a celebration in support of pharmacists around the country. While the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) has celebrated the accomplishments of pharmacists for decades, the Association launched American Pharmacists Month in 2004. Since then, APhA has used October to further raise awareness among the public, patients, policy makers, and other stakeholders about the broad roles pharmacists play in health care today.
During American Pharmacists Month, APhA promotes awareness of the many services pharmacists offer beyond the safe distribution of medications. Examples of these services include seasonal and lifespan immunizations; medication reviews to assess safety, effectiveness, interactions and adherence; care management and counseling for disease states such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol; and smoking cessation counseling.
This summer’s historic natural disasters have also focused attention on the role pharmacists play in public health planning and emergency preparedness. Whether it was distributing vital medications, setting up mobile pharmacies, or providing patient care, pharmacists in the affected and surrounding areas answered the call to help those in need.
The month-long observance recognizes the impact pharmacists have on improving medication use, advancing patient care, and improving patient access and public health across all geographies and throughout all practice settings. It is a way to inspire and galvanize the pharmacy profession, while also encouraging the community to “Know Your Pharmacist—Know Your Medicine,” the slogan for American Pharmacists Month. The message encourages patients to interact with their pharmacist and learn more about their medications and other services that pharmacists can provide.
For American Pharmacists Month 2017, APhA will participate in various activities, including a Capitol Hill Health Fair on October 11 where members of Congress, staff, and the general public can get their influenza shots and health screenings, including bone density, glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, and body composition; and media and social media campaigns.
To help pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and student pharmacists celebrate the month, APhA has devoted part of its website to help with activity planning, including tips on outreach and messaging to spread the word, ideas to inspire activities and events, and promotional items featuring the theme and logo.
Visit APhA’s website for ways to celebrate throughout October. Please use #APhM2017 for your social media postings and e-mail any coverage, clips, and event photos to APhA to firstname.lastname@example.org.