Harvey A. K. Whitney Lecture. Of perceived value.
Current issues in pharmacy are discussed and recommendations are made to help pharmacy demonstrate its value in health care. There is a need for pharmacy to actively demonstrate and communicate its value in health care. Educational requirements should reflect the values of the profession. In the debate over the entry-level Pharm.D. degree, the profession must not lose sight of the principal goal of elevating the basic competencies of all pharmacists. Graduate-level education will continue to be valuable, but the degrees and programs should be modified to meet current and future needs. Residency training will become increasingly essential. A well-defined corps of pharmacy technicians is needed. The profession should strive to meet the needs of society rather than confining itself to traditional practice definitions. This will involve increased interaction with patients. Also, pharmacy directors must become more creative in allocating existing resources and building arguments for expansion. When patients recognize the value of pharmacy services, they will seek out and demand those services. Pharmacists must get involved in deliberations regarding health-care reform. They have a responsibility to promote preventive medicine and healthy life-styles. They should actively promote the rational use of all medications. Although tremendous progress has been made in advancing the concept of pharmaceutical care, the profession still has work to do in communicating its value to the public.
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