Major changes will overhaul pharmacist role, responsibility

A new forecast released by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) concludes that health care payment reform, higher expectations of pharmacists by health-system executives, and breakthroughs in therapeutics for certain diseases will shift patient care and transform the way pharmacists do their job.

A new forecast released by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) concludes that health care payment reform, higher expectations of pharmacists by health-system executives, and breakthroughs in therapeutics for certain diseases will shift patient care and transform the way pharmacists do their job. The forecast is important because it is difficult for pharmacy departments to look beyond immediate operational challenges, says William Zellmer, president of Pharmacy Foresight Consulting, who is project director and editor of the report. The survey results were evaluated by members of the advisory committee, who developed recommendations for practice leaders. Pharmacy Forecast Report 2016–20 was presented in New Orleans at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting by Zellmer and other members of the committee. The report anticipates that pharmacists will give more attention to issues related to professional autonomy and ethics. Patient well-being often hinges on the ability of health professionals to heed the ethical precepts of their calling. This topic is of special importance to pharmacists, the report says, because they will more readily gain support for an expanded patient care role if they are seen as on the side of the patient rather than the business interests in health care.