When we decided to create a new supplement series that addressed the new health care landscape and how the pharmacist fits into it, we knew that it was extremely important to take a deep dive. As the leading pharmacy journal in the industry, it was critical that we delved into this complex subject from a variety of perspectives to give our readers the essential tools and key information they could use immediately.
While we define this new landscape within this special edition, we also want to provide pharmacists with a road map to follow as the rapidly changing scene moves fast forward. So, fittingly, we call this publication "Directions in Pharmacy"—and with the guidance of our guest co-editor, Troy Trygstad, PharmD, PhD, MBA, and Editor-in-Chief Fred M. Eckel, RPh, MS, we will answer your questions as accountable care organizations (ACOs) proliferate and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) takes hold.
One of the many reasons it is so important for pharmacists to pay very close attention to the changing marketplace is what Fred Eckel points out in his Editor's Note: "If you are not learning about ACOs and what is happening in your marketplace, you may wake up one morning and wonder what happened to your pharmacy's business." Rapid changes are happening, and it is imperative that the profession of pharmacy as a whole is in the game.
Today, pharmacy associations are joining forces to fight for health provider status for pharmacists. We also know that ACOs are drawing in community pharmacists across the nation. So, it is truly the time to organize as a profession and marshal the principles that hold the various segments of pharmacy together and to offer a united front.
Here, in Directions in Pharmacy
, you'll find "Tenets of Health Care Reform" that spell out what you, as a practicing pharmacist, need to take to heart and incorporate into your daily activities.
As our co-editors point out, not all of this is new to pharmacy—in fact, decades of discussion about the role of pharmacists and how they should work with other health care professionals have passed—but, now, with the advent of ACOs and the ACA, it is time to take a seat at the table. There will be no sector in the health care industry that will go without disruption.
Included in this edition, you will also find thought-provoking articles and practical ones, such as the Entrepreneurial Pharmacist and Career LadderTM
—both provide real-world details about how to navigate the impact of health care reform.
Future editions will focus on other significant areas of concern—the coordination of care, health care costs, how technology is changing the way patients interact with their health care team, and what value-based, evidence-based strategies will mean for you.
Having the right skills to provide entrepreneurial solutions and paying close attention to the marketplace will help continually improve the value of the pharmacist.
Are you ready for the changes—and the challenges they bring?
Thank you for reading!
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer