By Ryan Bickel, Pharm.D., MHA, FASHP, pharmacy manager, Mercy Health Saint Mary's, Grand Rapids
In June, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) House of Delegates (HOD) convened its 71st session in conjunction with the 2019 ASHP Summer meeting in Boston, MA. The HOD session consisted of participation in two delegate caucuses with two respective HOD meetings. Other society business activities, such as the presidents and treasurers reports, were also presented during the meetings. The delegates representing Michigan this year included Jesse Hogue, Mike Ruffing, Jim Lile and Ryan Bickel. Other Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) members participating in this year's HOD were Kathleen Pawlicki, ASHP President-elect, and Paul Walker, ASHP Board Member.
During the session, the HOD reviewed 18 policy recommendations, reviewed one resolution, and brought forth one new business item. Four of the policy recommendations and the resolution were approved without amendment. The remaining policy recommendations required some minor revisions.
Therapeutic Use of Cannabidiol Policy
Most of the policy recommendations were reviewed and amended relatively quickly; however, a significant amount of time was spent debating the Therapeutic Use of Cannabidiol (CBD) policy. The delegates were torn between taking a hardline stance opposing the use of CBD products and a more neutral stance. Some were concerned about the public perception of this statement, as many states, including Michigan, allow the use of medical marijuana and CBD oil. This was further complicated, as the Food and Drug Administration's (FDAs) stance on CBD is rapidly evolving with respect to its status as a nutritional supplement. Many were concerned that there is a lack of strong clinical studies supporting the therapeutic benefits of CBD. Ultimately, the HOD voted to "oppose use of CBD-containing products not regulated by the FDA." As a data driven profession, it was felt that this was the most appropriate action to take.
In the May 2019 MSHP article, Jesse Hogue highlighted several policies that he felt would be of particular interest to MSHP members. Here is a brief update of what transpired on some of policies that he referenced in his article:
- Safe Administration of Hazardous Drugs – The draft was amended to include all healthcare settings, rather than focusing on just hospital settings.
- Compounded Sterile Preparation Verification – No significant changes from the draft version, but a great deal of passionate debate amongst a small group of ASHP members ensued on ASHP Connect wanting this policy to be worded more strongly.
- Credentialing and Privileging by Regulators, Payers and Providers for Collaborative Practice – A clause was added to advocate for pharmacist inclusion as providers in the Medical staff bylaws.
- Pharmacy Technician Training and Certification – A clause was added to advocate for a national standard. It was felt that this policy is still consistent with the goals of MSHP.
The resolution dealt with the minimum educational qualifications standards for pharmacists. It was written in response to a 2017 U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) decision, which specified the basic educational requirement for pharmacists is a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. The resolution supports minimum educational qualification standards for pharmacists to practice pharmacy that are consistent with the licensing standards of state boards of pharmacy. Currently, all 50 states allow pharmacists with a Bachelor's of Pharmacy (B.S.Pharm) degree to qualify for licensure.
The new business item was entitled “Pharmacists can Mitigate the Primary Care Physician Shortage.” The purpose was to highlight the important role pharmacists play on interdisciplinary teams and advocate for incorporating more pharmacists into primary care models. The HOD approved moving this business item along for further review and assignment by the ASHP Board of Directors.
The highlight of the 2019 ASHP Summer Meeting for the Michigan delegates was not the HOD session; rather, it was getting to witness the installation of MSHP member Kathleen Pawlicki as the ASHP President. More information about this can be found on page 33 of the July-Sept. 2019 edition of Michigan Pharmacist.