America's pharmacy students maysoon be playing a more meaningfulrole in the nation's health care deliverysystem as a result of a new policy establishedby the American PharmacistsAssociation (APhA). That policy, adoptedby the APhA's House of Delegates atthe association's annual meeting inOrlando earlier this year, encouragesthe nation's state boards of pharmacy"to permit a student pharmacist to performthe duties of a pharmacist withinthe applicable state's scope of practiceunder a pharmacist's supervision."
The specific duties that students willbe allowed to perform under APhA'snew policy would be set by preceptors,who must take into consideration suchfactors as "the experience and educationof student pharmacists when providingpharmacy practice opportunities."
In a related move, the APhA delegatesalso voted to avoid the use of theterm "pharmacy student" and insteadencourage state pharmacy boards "touse the term ‘student pharmacist'toidentify all students enrolled in theirprofessional years of pharmacy educationin an ACPE [Accreditation Councilfor Pharmacy Education]-accreditedprogram."
Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.