ASHP Urges Lawmakers To Make Pharmacists Part Of Health-Care Reform Plans

January 27, 2009 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment


As the Obama administration and the 111th Congress set their priorities for health-care reform, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) will push health policy makers to consider solutions that allow patients to benefit from the medication expertise of pharmacists. The Society has established principles that it believes should be included in any proposal for health-care reform.




Pharmacists who work in hospitals and health systems can serve as vital members of the patient care team by working hand-in-hand with physicans and nurses in primary care and inpatient settings to care for critically and chronically ill patients with complex medication needs. ASHP believes that safe and effective medication use should be a component of all proposed solutions to the central health-care reform issues of access, cost, and quality.




ASHP’s principles promote a variety of solutions, including:




– Providing access to prescription medications and related pharmacist services,


– Strengthening the postmarketing surveillance and safety system to ensure thorough monitoring of medications,


– Offering incentives, such as loan forgiveness for pharmacy school graduates, who practice in rural and underserved areas, and


– Developing a reimbursement policy that recognizes the value of pharmacists as providers of medication-related patient care services.




The full-text of the ASHP Principles for Health Care Reform is available at ASHP’s Web site.




“A new President and Congress offer a fresh opportunity for ASHP to provide leadership about restructuring the health-care system as it relates to the use of medications,” said ASHP President Kevin J. Colgan. “The current system does not provide patients with the safety and effective care they deserve and we believe that greater involvement of pharmacists can bring about valuable change.”




ASHP plans to work with the new leadership at the Department of Health and Human Services, relevant legislative committees, as well as other interested stakeholders to advocate for the inclusion of the principles. The Society has also endorsed principles for health care reform proposed by a pharmacy-wide coalition and serves as co-chair of the Leadership for Medication Management coalition, which is developing legislative language to recognize pharmacists for their services under Medicare Part B.



For more than 60 years, ASHP has helped pharmacists who practice in hospitals and health systems improve medication use and enhance patient safety. The Society’s 35,000 members include pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who practice in inpatient, outpatient, home-care, and long-term-care settings, as well as pharmacy students. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists help people make the best use of medicines, visit ASHP’s Web site, http://www.ashp.org, or its consumer Web site, http://www.SafeMedication.com.



American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

[Via http://www.medicalnewstoday.com]

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