Published Online: Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Responding to recommendations from pharmacy leaders, the American Medical Association's (AMA) House of Delegates adopted a new policy recognizing the role of pharmacists in administering vaccinations.

The new policy was approved following a presentation by American Pharmacists Association (APhA) representative Margaret Tomecki, PharmD, who told the AMA delegates that >25,000 pharmacists have completed the Centers for Disease- Control and Prevention recognized Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery certificate training program, and that 44 states currently authorize pharmacy practitioners to administer vaccinations.

Tomecki, a community pharmacist and assistant professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, also was instrumental in convincing the AMA delegates to reconsider several other proposed new policies that raised concerns among some pharmacy leaders. One AMA resolution proposed new obligations for pharmacists who invoke a so-called "conscience clause" to refuse to fill prescriptions for drugs used in emergency contraception or physician-assisted suicide.

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