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Steven M Burghart, DPh, MBA, BCPP
CPNP President

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.” Bertolt Brecht

I want to take this edition of the CPNP President’s Letter to highlight a number of different, exciting developments at CPNP. 

  • Our Newsletter: This time of year, residency program directors are promoting their programs and student pharmacists and new practitioners are submitting applications. The CPNP Perspective focus this month is on residencies. We present many great articles including an update on different practice sites, how to build a new residency, preparing for those stressful site visits, and CPNP’s annual residency director survey results. On September 19, 2014, ASHP approved revised PGY1 accreditation standards. The current standards for PGY2 in psychiatric pharmacy have been in place since 2008 and are slated for revision in 2015.  CPNP has been in contact with ASHP expressing our desire to be involved in the revision process. 
  • Our Journal: CPNP's online journal, The Mental Health Clinician, will be taking a big step forward with its January edition. Be looking for announcements by the end of the month, related to the new MHC design, expanded features, and an MHC dedicated website in conjunction with our publishing partner Allen Press.
  • Our Opinions: CPNP will christen the new MHC with the release of an important position paper entitled Improving Medication-Related Outcomes for Patients with Psychiatric or Neurologic Disorders: Value of Psychiatric Pharmacists as Part of the Healthcare Team. This paper 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.
  • Our Successes: Last summer, CPNP joined with other pharmacy organizations in submitting comments regarding USP Draft Chapter <800> on Hazardous Drugs. I am pleased to report that our comments were incorporated into the revised draft of the standard that was released in December. The most important change in the new draft is that use of the NIOSH list, which classifies many psychotropics as hazardous medications, is no longer mandatory.
  • Our Legislative Advocacy: Now that congress is back is session, the ACCP-CPNP coalition is back to work as well. We expect to see language that incorporates the Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM) process as a covered benefit in Medicare Part B this legislative session. Additionally, the CPNP board recently approved a plan for CPNP to apply for membership in the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP). JCPP membership consists of the leadership from an alphabet soup of national pharmacy organizations, including: APhA, ASHP, ACCP, AMCP, ACA, ASCP, NCPA, AACP, ACPE, NABP and NASPA. For a number of years, CPNP has participated as a guest at JCPP. Going from guest to membership, would raise CPNP’s stature and voice on issues that affect all of pharmacy. 
  • Our Outreach: Consistent with CPNP’s strategic plan to increase the role of pharmacists in the treatment of substance use disorders, the CPNP board approved application for membership on the steering committee of the Providers’ Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies (PCSS-O). This group provides education and support for healthcare providers treating opioid use disorders.    
  • Our Conversations: Recently, Carla Cobb moderated a lively discussion on the CPNP listserv on the topic of, “The Pharmacy School Bubble.” There were many different opinions expressed. Some felt there were too many new schools, some felt there were not enough PGY1 residencies for new graduates. Dr. Cobb offered an enlightening perspective, which I reprint here with her permission. I conclude this month’s President’s letter with these thoughts to ponder:

“When it comes to the increase in the number of pharmacy schools and their enrollment, there is little that most of us can do. When it comes to the sluggish expansion of the pharmacist’s role, there is clearly more that we as pharmacists can do.

We need to be infuriated that in this day and age there are still easily corrected medication-related poor patient outcomes. We need to sound the alarm bell to administrators, payers, and legislators about the system failures. Is it really acceptable that more than half the patients with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes are not at treatment goals? Really! These medications cost next to nothing and failure to use them costs the system billions of dollars each year, not to mention, loss of productivity, morbidity, mortality, and patient suffering. And how about the millions of patients with mental illnesses who die years younger than their peers due in large part to medication-related problems? Unacceptable.

If we want to be paid to provide patient care we have to do patient care, not some modified version of dispensing or patient counseling. We need to provide patient care as it is defined by the rest of the healthcare world.”

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