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Press Release

ASHP Extends its Reach in Guidelines Development and Dissemination

ASHP's guideline document, Therapeutic Guidelines on Angiotensin-Converting-Enzyme Inhibitors in Patients with Left Ventricular Dysfunction was recently accepted for inclusion on the World Wide Web-based National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC). The Society also has come to agreement with the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) in ASHP’s first joint effort to develop clinical practice guidelines. Both efforts will enhance the recognition of ASHP's evidence-based drug therapy guidance documents and facilitate widespread dissemination.

First published in February 1997, the ASHP guidance document on ACE inhibitors recommends that health practitioners utilize ACEI therapy in patients with heart failure to alleviate symptoms, reduce hospitalizations, and enhance overall quality of life. It is intended to expand upon the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research’s (AHCPR) clinical practice guidelines dealing with heart failure and provide information for health care professionals on the selection, implementation, and monitoring of ACEI therapy. 

The recently launched NGC is designed to be a comprehensive data base of clinical practice guidelines. AHCPR sponsors the clearinghouse in partnership with the American Association of Health Plans and the American Medical Association. In order to be considered for inclusion on the NGC, guidelines must have been systematically developed and reflect a review of existing scientific evidence. 

The Society and SCCM have agreed to cooperate on revising two SCCM practice parameters, one focused on IV analgesia and sedation for adult ICU patients, and the other on sustained neuromuscular blockade in adult critically ill patients. SCCM is the professional organization devoted exclusively to the advancement of multidisciplinary, multiprofessional critical care through excellence in patient care, education, research and advocacy. Both ASHP and SCCM support a multidisciplinary, evidence-based approach to guidelines development. Once approved, the final documents will be published jointly in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy and Critical Care Medicine. 

"Both of these initiatives will enhance ASHP's recognition in the guidelines development arena and achieve broader use of ASHP documents,” said Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D., ASHP executive vice president and chief executive officer. “These activities should heighten our efforts to promote rational drug use in society" 

ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medications. Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective. The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their delivery of pharmaceutical care, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.