ASHP Speaks Out on Vital Role of Pharmacists in Treating HIV Infection
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) recently released an official statement that highlights the critical role of pharmacists in the treatment of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The statement, which is targeted toward pharmacy and physician infectious disease specialists, federal policymakers in the area of public health, and consumer advocacy groups, suggests future directions for pharmacists to expand patient-care services for this patient population.
The ASHP Statement on the Pharmacists Role in the Treatment of HIV-Infected Patients articulates the Societys view that pharmacists have a responsibility to provide pharmaceutical care to HIV patients and, in states where it is authorized, to expand on that responsibility through collaborative drug therapy management agreements with physicians.
Slated to be published in the October 1, 2003, issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, the policy urges pharmacists to establish meaningful relationships with patients to:
Ensure the appropriateness of medication therapy,
Enhance patients understanding of treatment, and
Monitor the effects of medication therapy.
The policy also states that potential benefits of pharmacists enhanced role in treating HIV patients include access to medication information, the prevention and resolution of medication-related problems, improved outcomes, and increased satisfaction. To view the entire statement, go to http://www.ashp.org/aboutASHP/PolicyGovernance/HOD/2003/Statement-HIV.pdf.
ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, ambulatory care clinics, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medicines. Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHPs primary objective. The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their professional practice, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs. For more information, visit ASHPs Web site, www.ashp.org, or its consumer Web site, www.safemedication.com.