Imagine the Possibilities

Dear Colleagues,

We’re just a few days away from the 2023 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition in Anaheim, California — the biggest and best gathering of pharmacy professionals in the world.

This year’s Midyear theme, Imagine the Possibilities, is especially powerful because it truly captures the spirit of the event and the pharmacy profession.

I believe we’ve gotten where we are today because each generation of pharmacists has imagined and transformed the possibilities into reality.

When I was a new practitioner, pharmacy was still a predominantly distributive service. We hadn’t fully transitioned to a profession that routinely provides clinical care and takes responsibility for the entire medication use process.

But we imagined these possibilities as a necessary part of our profession’s future and our patients’ health. Today, pharmacists provide direct patient care as part of inpatient and outpatient care teams in settings that once seemed unimaginable.

As we prepare to kick off the Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition, I encourage you to visit ASHP’s News Center, where our live session coverage and other content will showcase what’s possible for the profession.

Are you interested in optimizing the care of patients with heart failure? Do you want to learn the latest thinking on cancer immunotherapy or drug therapy for the treatment of diabetes and obesity? Need to stay ahead of antimicrobial resistance trends? The Midyear meeting offers a wealth of educational sessions on these topics and others that highlight the important advances in drug therapy, disease management, and practice opportunities that our attendees want and expect.

Pharmacy is always looking ahead. With advances in artificial intelligence (AI) constantly in the news, it doesn’t take much imagination to envision a future where new technologies help us solve clinical problems and make care safer and more efficient. There will be challenges ahead about how and when to appropriately use these digital tools, and pharmacists are already educating themselves on how the technology may affect their work.

The 2023 Midyear features a Spotlight on Science session on AI tools in direct-to-consumer testing, an educational session on AI and machine learning, and a roundtable discussion about the use of AI technologies in specialty pharmacy.

We’re also featuring sessions on mobile tracking technology for controlled substances, IV room verification technology, and pharmacy automation systems.

ASHP relies on our members to share important insights about the profession and to imagine where it’s going. One of our best tools for this effort is the ASHP National Survey of Pharmacy Practice in Hospital Settings, which provides an annual snapshot that chronicles the state of the profession. Here’s a sample of what survey findings from 2021 and 2022 revealed:

  • In more than 25% of hospitals, pharmacists independently prescribe medications pursuant to a diagnosis.
  • More than 70% of hospitals have pharmacists providing clinical services at least eight hours per day, five days per week.
  • More than half of hospitals that operate outpatient clinics include pharmacists on ambulatory care teams.

The 2023 survey recently closed, and we have preliminary data on what the respondents said about pharmacy operations and technology. If you’re going to the Midyear meeting, attend our Dec. 6 session to get a preview of the 2023 survey results and start imagining where you want to go next — and how ASHP can help you get there.

Advocacy is another critical area where we imagine the possibilities and act on them to move the profession forward.

With the help and support of our state affiliates, our advocacy efforts have made significant headway. Today, across the country, states are recognizing pharmacists as clinical care providers for conditions ranging from prevention and treatment of COVID-19, influenza, streptococcal pharyngitis, and HIV, to management of medications for opioid use disorder. Policymakers are also increasingly recognizing the need to pay pharmacists for providing these clinical services.

The Midyear features several sessions on advocacy, including a Dec. 5 update from ASHP’s government relations staff, where we will hear more about federal and state-level advocacy efforts and the possibilities ahead for our profession.

For those attending the Midyear, there is so much to experience. I hope you’ll find the meeting as inspiring as I always do, and I look forward to catching up with you in Anaheim.

Thank you for all you do for your patients and our profession.



Posted on November 30, 2023