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It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - Mary Ann Evans (a.k.a. George Eliot)

Thanks to the efforts of our Residency and New Practitioner Committee, our focus this month is on those beginning their careers (becoming who they might have been) – our residents and prospective residents. Our articles address the newest edition of our residency program director survey results, ASHP’s draft PGY2 standards, and how residency candidates might stand out to those making placement selections. While thanks is due to all who take time to train our future practitioners, special thanks is due to those assume the additional burdens of complying with ever-changing standards, dealing with scheduling, securing resources and continuing to make the case for supporting residencies to administrators. Thanks for taking the time to provide input regarding the new standards and the survey.

Last month, I noted that we were continuing to work with the FDA regarding many of the challenges that our members had reported concerning the Clozapine REMS Program. I am happy to report that the REMS program issued an update on January 14. They report that they have addressed the multiple email address issue and the issue of receipt of alerts regarding patients who should no longer be associated with the clinicians receiving the alerts. They acknowledged the HIPAA issues our members first raised. It was your communications to CPNP and CPNP’s persistence with the FDA that resulted in these changes. Thank you!

As I have noted in previous communications, the FDA is restricted in the methods it has at its disposal to solicit input, particularly when the issue may have proprietary aspects. The FDA and CPNP have now entered into a formal agreement for CPNP to serve as part of the FDA’s Network of Experts. This allows CPNP to recommend experts to respond to specific issues on which the FDA requires input. We expect that the FDA will be invoking this mechanism to request input in the next few weeks. When it comes to the Clozapine REMS Program, It’s never too late to be who you might have been or if you prefer: better late than never!

In early January, Executive Director Brenda Schimenti and I had the opportunity to attend the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP). One of the issues raised at the meeting was the need for pharmacists to “own the issue” of opioid abuse. Many organizations voiced support for pharmacy taking a greater role in dealing with our country’s opioid epidemic. This was an opportunity to remind our partner pharmacy organizations that the potential roles for pharmacists in opioid disorders far exceed just addressing issues in the prescription transaction for opioids. I was proud to remind the participants that CPNP had issued a naloxone guide, had an active Substance Abuse Task Force, and has recently received a grant from the Providers Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies to develop a toolkit entitled Developing a Clinical Toolkit to Assist Community Pharmacists in Identification, Intervention and Referral of Pharmacy Patients with Opioid Use Disorder. Both the President of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the CEO of the American Pharmacists Association not only applauded our undertaking, but asked to be included in our efforts. Special thanks to the Task Force and those who have contributed to our efforts in substance abuse!

It’s a New Year and it’s never too late for CPNP and the profession of psychiatric pharmacy to be what it might have been!

Ray Love, CPNP President

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