APhA Calls for Broader Practice Role for Student Pharmacists

Author: Ken Rankin

America's pharmacy students may soon be playing a more meaningful role in the nation's health care delivery system as a result of a new policy established by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). That policy, adopted by the APhA's House of Delegates at the association's annual meeting in Orlando earlier this year, encourages the nation's state boards of pharmacy "to permit a student pharmacist to perform the duties of a pharmacist within the applicable state's scope of practice under a pharmacist's supervision."

The specific duties that students will be allowed to perform under APhA's new policy would be set by preceptors, who must take into consideration such factors as "the experience and education of student pharmacists when providing pharmacy practice opportunities."

In a related move, the APhA delegates also voted to avoid the use of the term "pharmacy student" and instead encourage state pharmacy boards "to use the term ‘student pharmacist'to identify all students enrolled in their professional years of pharmacy education in an ACPE [Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education]-accredited program."

Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.