Staying Up-to-Date Is Important for Medication Therapy Management

Pharmacy TimesJanuary 2024
Volume 90
Issue 1

Continuing education and networking can help pharmacists stay current with the profession

As of this writing, more than 50 new drugs have received FDA approval in 2023.1 These new drugs manage disease states that include depression, heart failure, migraine, and more.1 Keeping up with the medication therapy management (MTM) literature helps ensure patients receive appropriate pharmacotherapy, but staying up-to-date can be challenging. The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education defines continuing professional development as a “self-directed, ongoing, systematic, and outcomes- focused approach to lifelong learning that is applied into practice.”2 Staying on top of the latest developments in pharmacy as a lifelong learner plays a major role in MTM (FIGURE3-7).

Doctor prescribing medication to patient - Image credit: Goodluz |

Image credit: Goodluz |


Participating in topic discussions is a great way for pharmacists to stay up-to-date on MTM clinical studies. If pharmacists serve as preceptors for pharmacy students on their advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs), they can include topic discussions as teaching opportunities. This can also include journal clubs that involve selecting a recently published clinical study to share in APPEs. Pharmacists and students can perform a literature search to identify clinical studies published within the past year that are related to a specific disease state. Facilitating discussions with multiple pharmacists or other health care professionals can also serve as MTM professional development.

One study utilized a preintervention and postintervention survey to evaluate a multipreceptor approach for topic discussions on ambulatory care APPEs, with topics including diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, heart failure, anticoagulation, devices and physical assessment, and asthma.3 The study found that students’ knowledge assessment scores increased significantly from baseline (P < .001).3

Training programs focusing on MTM are another strategy for pharmacists to stay current. One study focused on developing an MTM training program for health care professionals practicing at federally qualified health centers who specialized in hypertension and diabetes.4 Based on the pharmacist survey results, MTM training that included the following 7 modules was developed: principles of chronic disease self-management, team-based care, client self-advocacy, health equity, cultural competency, social determinants of health, and benefits of MTM services.4

Joining a state or national pharmacy association can also help expand MTM knowledge. The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) are 2 examples of national pharmacy organizations. The next APhA Annual Meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida, in March 2024 and will include a variety of MTM educational activities such as diabetes management, OTC medications, medication safety, and tobacco cessation.5 Additionally, ASHP will host its next summer meeting in Portland, Oregon, in June 2024 with topics focusing on community pharmacy, ambulatory care, and medication safety.6 These conferences offer opportunities for live continuing education (CE) credits, certificate programs, and networking.

Creating a free LinkedIn profile also provides a path to network with other pharmacists involved in MTM and a space to collaborate and share updates in MTM research. The National Board of Medication Therapy Management (NBMTM) provides volunteer opportunities for NBMTM board certification.7 Volunteers can apply through NBMTM, and pharmacists can network with colleagues and play an integral role in MTM if selected. Volunteer opportunities include serving as an item writer, item reviewer, content expert, and board director.7

About the Author

Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPH, PACS, is a drug information pharmacist and Pharmacy Times contributor who resides in south Florida.


  1. Novel drug approvals for 2023. FDA. Updated November 20, 2023. Accessed November 22, 2023.
  2. Continuing professional development. Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Accessed November 22, 2023.
  3. McClendon KS, Malinowski SS, Pitcock JJ, et al. A multipreceptor approach to ambulatory care topic discussions. Am J Pharm Educ. 2014;78(4):77. doi:10.5688/ajpe78477
  4. Mathis A, Spates JD, Suther S. Developing medication therapy management training for community health professionals serving low-income patients. J Pharm Pract. 2023;36(4):810-816. doi:10.1177/08971900221077610
  5. APhA 2024 Annual Meeting & Exposition. American Pharmacists Association. 2023. Accessed November 22, 2023.
  6. ASHP summer meetings and exhibition. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 2023. Accessed November 22, 2023.
  7. Volunteer opportunities. The National Board of Medication Therapy Management. Accessed November 22, 2023.
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