As the busy spring season transitions to the sometimes less frenetic days of summer, I look forward to seeing so many of you at Pharmacy Education 2019 in the heart of downtown Chicago. This will be the third time in my tenure as AACP Executive Vice President that we have met in the Windy City. Each time we have set a new attendance record!
I am truly excited that Doris Kearns Goodwin will be our opening keynote speaker. Almost every year at Annual Meeting at least one person mentions her 1999 keynote in Boston at the kickoff of AACP’s centennial year. In their opinion, she was the best we ever had. Her new historical perspective on leadership in turbulent times is so thoughtful with lessons that all of us can apply to our work and our lives.
The primary feature in this issue of Academic Pharmacy Now is on a topic that we rarely cover: the price of medications. Recognizing that drug pricing is highly visible in the state and federal public policy arena, to not attend to how it is central to the debate about controlling healthcare spending would be a mistake. The article focuses on how pharmacists can play a role in lowering costs. This was also the focus of an opinion piece that was published almost a year ago in The Hill, a widely read policy publication by Hill staff and lobbyists from every sector. In the piece, entitled “Pharmacists can help manage drug costs if state and federal laws just let them,” I offered the following insights about drug pricing:
But there is another high cost of prescription drugs often overlooked: The most expensive drug may be the one not taken, or not taken as recommended by physicians and pharmacists. The good news for patients is that they are not alone when dealing with medication challenges. Pharmacists are in a good position to assist, if state and federal laws would allow.
AACP knows that you have amazing stories to tell that validate the statement above and we have begun to collect them as part of the “Pharmacists for Healthier Lives” campaign. There are now six national and six state partners engaged in spreading the word to consumers that they will achieve and maintain better health if they fully engage the expertise and compassion of your graduates.
We will provide details about ways you can share your stories with the campaign during the Annual Meeting and via the campaign website. Don’t be shy! People love stories and we want to tell them for you.
Enjoy your summer. See you in Chicago!
Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph.
CEO and Publisher