(June 3, 2013) U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A., and the three primary authors of a report to the Surgeon General supporting advanced patient care roles for pharmacists are the 2013 recipients of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP’s) Board of Directors Award of Excellence. The award is in recognition of their exceptional work on advancing pharmacists’ roles in patient care and public health policy. The award was presented today during the Society’s Summer Meeting in Minneapolis.
In addition to the Surgeon General, the award recipients are RADM Scott Giberson, B.S.Pharm., M.P.H., D.Sc. (H); CDR Michael P. Lee, Pharm.D.; and CDR Sherri Yoder, Pharm.D.
The report, Improving Patient and Health System Outcomes through Advanced Pharmacy Practice: A Report to the Surgeon General, strongly supports the advanced patient-care roles of pharmacists and makes the case for payment for the services they provide. The comprehensive report definitively states that pharmacists are effective and integral to health care as primary care providers as proven by many published evidence-based studies. It also states that pharmacists can be more effectively utilized in the 21st century to expand access to care as required under health care reform and that pharmacists deserve compensation for primary care services comparable to that given other primary care practitioners based on the level of care provided.
The report cited 55 outcomes-based clinical studies (including meta-analysis of many more studies) showing that pharmacists are effective health care providers.
The Surgeon General recognized and endorsed the report findings and recommended that leadership explore ways to optimize the pharmacist’s role in the health care system through collaborative practice models, as essential members of the healthcare team, and as additional providers of primary care. The Surgeon General also recognized that additional compensation models are needed for pharmacists in these expanded roles.
This is the first time that the Surgeon General of the United States has supported pharmacists as compensable health care providers. This report has become an effective tool used by the major pharmacy associations, numerous schools and colleges of pharmacy, public health leadership, and other governmental agencies as they advocate for expanded pharmacist roles and compensation under health care reform. Equitable compensation for pharmacists is essential for long-term sustainability of pharmacists in expanded practice prescriptive roles, serving patients. This report has compiled and presented the evidence, opening a number of doors for the pharmacy profession.
The ASHP Award of Excellence recognizes a specific recent contribution or achievement that has advanced the ability of hospital and health-system pharmacists in the United States to serve the needs of patients.