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Lisa W. Goldstone, MS, LPC, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP

With the changing landscape of the healthcare field, it is even more critical that psychiatric pharmacists are recognized as an important member of healthcare teams who provide services to patients with psychiatric or neurologic disorders. Multiple studies have been published demonstrating the impact of pharmacists on various therapeutic, humanistic, and economic outcomes. However, to date, no comprehensive paper specifically addressing both the need and benefit of having a psychiatric pharmacist as part of the healthcare team existed. This was identified as a potential challenge in advocating for not only provider status, but also payment for Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM) services provided by a psychiatric pharmacist to patients with psychiatric or neurologic disorders. 

The need for a position paper on this topic was first conceptualized nearly two years by members of the Government Affairs Council. A workgroup of individuals with a diversity of practice experience in neuropsychiatric pharmacy was formed to address this need and met via teleconference on a regular basis to develop the outline and write the manuscript under the guidance of the Government Affairs Council. Many hours and revisions later, the manuscript underwent extensive review by the Government Affairs Council, the College of Psychiatric & Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) Board of Directors, and senior members of CPNP in addition to peer review through the Mental Health Clinician. 

Launching in the upcoming January edition of The Mental Health Clinician, the CPNP Position Paper – Improving Medication-Related Outcomes for Patients with Psychiatric or Neurologic Disorders: Value of Psychiatric Pharmacists as Part of the Healthcare Team, outlines the current unmet needs of patients and qualifications of psychiatric pharmacists, reviews studies examining the impact of psychiatric pharmacists in both outpatient and inpatient settings, describes current practice models with an emphasis on CMM, presents challenges to the provision of CMM by a psychiatric pharmacist to all patients with psychiatric or neurologic disorders, and ends with a call to action for psychiatric pharmacists, pharmacy educators, physicians, healthcare providers, legislators, government officials, payers, patients, families, and advocates. It will be published in the upcoming January 2015 issue of the Mental Health Clinician and can, and should be, used in discussions and other efforts, to advocate for the inclusion of psychiatric pharmacists as part of all healthcare teams serving patients with psychiatric or neurologic disorders.

As the chair of this workgroup, I had the honor of working with a talented group of authors which included Bethany DiPaula, Joshua Caballero, Susie Park, Cris Price, and Maggie Zasadzki Slater. This position paper would not have been possible without their dedication to this project and their ability and willingness to meet some very tight deadlines. I would also like to thank the Government Affairs Council, in particular, Carla Cobb, Jerry McKee, and Carey Potter, who provided their valuable insight and guidance during this process and Brenda Schimenti for her assistance in managing this very important project. It is our hope that this paper will help further the CPNP mission of advancing the practice of neuropsychiatric pharmacy to better serve our patients.

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