Pharmacists employ grassroots efforts to officially recognize pharmacists as healthcare providers

NEW YORK — A St. John's University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate last week picked up on a petition to recognize pharmacists as healthcare providers and filed the petition on the Obama Administration's "We the People" web site, according to a report published online by The Pharmacopedia. 

The petition, filed by Steve Soman, is a replication of a similar charge started Dec. 11, 2011 on Change.org by pharmacist Sandra Leal. The movement even has its own Facebook page

To date, the Change.org petition has garnered 21,951 signatures, 3,049 shy of a 25,000 signature goal. The "We the People" site has generated 1,052 signatures to date. That petition needs to reach 25,000 signatures by the end of January in order to qualify for an official White House response. 

Both petitions are seeking to qualify pharmacists as healthcare professionals under the Social Security Act. "Despite overwhelming evidence of the positive impact pharmacists can have on patient health, pharmacists are not recognized as healthcare providers under the Social Security Act and therefore cannot be paid by Medicare for therapy management and patient consultation services," the petition reads. "The Social Security Act does recognize other healthcare professionals such as dieticians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives and clinical social workers."

For the full Pharmacopedia report, click here