Saturday, March 26, 2011

Reply to a question on Twitter

Saw this tweet from @Ron_Jordan yesterday:

If pharmacists are the most accessible medication therapy expert, what happens when so many are in Seattle for #APhA2011?

I wanted to reply with a tweet of my own, but I figured that my response would be over 140 characters. Plus you can't format tweets, at least I don't know how. So here is my response.

Total attendees at APhA 2011
- Students
- Pharmacists in industry
- Federal pharmacists
- Pharmacists working for national/state organizations
- Academics
- Hospital/clinical pharmacists
- Lobbyists
- Pharmacists in managed care
- RPhs working for publications

appox 250-500 "accessible medication therapy experts" at APhA 2011

That's not a lot of real, accessible medication therapy experts at the convention. I would like to see a breakdown of the background of the attendees at the convention. I sent an email to the APhA last year to see if I could get that information. Never received a reply. But that's okay.

I attended the convention in Washington DC last year to attend a session on MTM. If the people sitting at my table were a cross-section of the attendees of the entire conference, then community pharmacists aren't represented real well. The folks at my table, starting across from me and moving counter-clockwise, were:
  • call center pharmacist who does over-the-phone MTM
  • pharmacist at a Medicare D plan learning how to implement MTM
  • pharmacist at university that provides MTM to university employees
  • me
  • another community pharmacist
  • dean of a college of pharmacy
The people at my table were amazed at what the other community pharmacist and I shared about our practice settings. They couldn't believe the issues that community pharmacists deal with on a daily basis.


That's what a majority of pharmacists deal with every day. And that's why there are only about, by my totally unscientific calculations, about 250-500 of the most accessible medication therapy experts actually in attendance in Seattle.

The rest of us are back home enjoying a day or two off with our families/friends, trying our best to not think about pharmacy -OR- we are in the pharmacy, providing direct patient care even though we are understaffed by our employer and under-compensated by the prescription drug plans. We don't have four or five days where we can put off work to go to the conference.

We have patients to take care of.

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