ASHP Inaugural Virtual House of Delegates Approves Professional Policies on Biosimilar Naming, Appropriate Use of Testosterone, and Roles of Pharmacy Technicians

Press Release

ASHP’s first virtual House of Delegates has overwhelmingly approved professional policies on biosimilar naming, appropriate use of testosterone, and the roles of pharmacy technicians.

Traditionally, ASHP’s House of Delegates has met once a year at the Society’s annual Summer Meetings in June to debate and vote on professional policies. Responding to recommendations from its Task Force on Organizational Structure, ASHP used a secure online voting platform and ASHP Connect, its online member forum, to engage more than 200 delegates in debate and voting on the three proposed policies.

“With the advent of the virtual House of Delegates, ASHP can more quickly create professional policies to address rapidly evolving developments in patient care and pharmacy practice,” said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP. “The virtual House also allows more ASHP members to be engaged in the ASHP policy process through sharing their views and expertise, as well as being part of shaping the future of patient care and pharmacy practice.”

At the virtual House of Delegates, policy recommendations must be approved by at least 85 percent of delegates to become ASHP policy. Recommendations that do not reach that level of consensus will be considered by the House of Delegates when it convenes at the ASHP Summer Meetings in Baltimore on June 12 and 14, 2016. Nearly 93 percent of state delegates participated in voting in the virtual House of Delegates to approve the following three policies:

Nonproprietary Naming of Biological Products: To advocate that originator biological products, related biological products, and biosimilar products share the same global nonproprietary name as defined by the United States Adopted Name Council, the World Health Organization Programme on International Nonproprietary Names, and United States Pharmacopeial Convention; further, to oppose unique nonproprietary naming for originator biological products, related biological products, and biosimilar products.

Appropriate Use of Testosterone: To educate pharmacists, patients, and the public about the risks and benefits of testosterone use and about best practices for safe handling of testosterone, specifically regarding harmful effects of contact with another person; further, to educate healthcare providers about the importance of including accurate testosterone levels and confirmed evidence of clinical symptoms in the evaluation of candidates for testosterone therapy; further, to encourage additional research on the long-term effects of testosterone therapy.

ASHP Statement on the Roles of Pharmacy Technicians: The purpose of the statement is to outline the evolving roles and responsibilities of pharmacy technicians, describe a model for educating and certifying pharmacy technicians, and propose a legal and regulatory structure that reflects the evolving nature of pharmacy technician responsibilities.

For more information about the virtual House of Delegates, refer to these frequently asked questions.

About ASHP

ASHP represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization’s more than 40,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For over 70 years, ASHP has been on the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists advance healthcare, visit ASHP’s website, www.ashp.org, or its consumer website, www.SafeMedication.com.