WASHINGTON, DC—The American Pharmacists Association’s (APhA’s) House of Delegates (HOD) passed policy in order to break down barriers that stand in the way of patients’ ability to receive optimal and accessible care through pharmacists. Now is the time for all health care professions to work together to expand access to care during this critical moment for our nation.
There are no other health care professionals with more extensive training in medication use and safety than pharmacists. Pharmacists provide patient care services related to medications by testing, treating, immunizing, and educating patients; managing medication therapies; and providing consultative advice and information to other health care professionals. The pandemic has highlighted the tremendous health disparities in our nation, and pharmacists are able to directly address these disparities among socially disadvantaged and underserved communities. APhA’s policy calls on the American Medical Association (AMA) to join dozens of other health care organizations who recognize and support pharmacists providing essential patient care such as testing and immunization, which has been and will be so important throughout this pandemic and beyond.
For decades, pharmacists have been working with federal and state policymakers to allow pharmacists to initiate medications when patients can be assessed for appropriate use. Unfortunately, AMA and other professional organizations consistently oppose all federal and state legislative and regulatory attempts to enhance pharmacists’ scope of practice and eligibility as providers for Medicare patients. It is time to collectively address health equity challenges and let go of antiquated models that present barriers to care for many Americans.
Every day pharmacists and physicians are working together providing care to improve health outcomes for their patients. AMA’s policies directly conflict with contemporary standards of practice and pharmacists’ extensive training and expertise. These policies impede the ability of health care professionals to work together to address health equity and provide accessible care to vulnerable populations.
To break down the barriers preventing patients from accessing pharmacists’ services and address recent public statements by the AMA on the Administration’s test-to-treat COVID-19 plan and AMA’s current House of Delegates policy opposing pharmacists’ prescribing authority, APhA’s House of Delegates passed the following policy statements at APhA’s Annual Meeting & Exposition held in San Antonio, TX, March 17–21, 2022:
- APhA opposes policies and practices by the American Medical Association (AMA) and other professional organizations that inhibit interprofessional care, patient access to pharmacist-provided care, and health equity.
- APhA calls on the American Medical Association (AMA) to rescind its policies opposing expanded scopes of practice for pharmacists.
- APhA adamantly supports the continuation and expansion of collaborative patient care models among pharmacists, physicians, and other health care professionals to improve patient access to care, health equity, and health outcomes.
APhA HOD is the policymaking body of the association. The APhA HOD is comprised of delegates from state pharmacy associations, APhA membership academies, affiliated organizations, recognized pharmacy organizations, and ex officio groups. Delegates meet during the APhA Annual Meeting.
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