Unleash drug therapy management, pharmacy leader urges

WASHINGTON —The newly installed president of the nation’s oldest national pharmacy organization is urging pharmacists to quickly expand their role as patient care practitioners through the delivery of medication therapy management to their patients.

Harold Godwin, named president of the American Pharmacists Association during its 158th Annual Meeting and Exposition, is making the expansion of medication therapy management delivered by community pharmacists a catchword of his administration. Godwin told meeting attendees that pharmacists’ efforts to improve patient medication use and outcomes must be a primary focus of their professional practices.

“Whether you are a student pharmacist or a seasoned pharmacist like me, we all seek the same thing: recognition and ability to utilize our knowledge and skills to take care of patients,” said Godwin, who is professor, chair of pharmacy practice and associate dean at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. In large part, he said, that means “helping patients take responsibility for their medication therapy.”

Godwin noted the current “medication use crisis” afflicting the United States, but added that pharmacists, “when empowered,…can fix it.”

APhA’s new chief said improving patient outcomes could involve simple steps by community pharmacists, such as encouraging patients to carry a copy of their current medication lists, making sure they are actually taking their medications on a daily basis and making them aware of such pharmacist-based services as MTM.

Godwin told APhA members that 2010 will be a year of challenges and opportunities. “We’ve made great strides,” he said. “But we must continue to advance our goals in policy, advocacy, MTM and immunizations.”