American College of Clinical Pharmacy
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ACCP Report - July 2020

Washington Report

Positioning Clinical Services Across the Profession

Written by John McGlew
Director of Government Affairs



Capitol

As a longstanding member of the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP), ACCP is committed organizationally to helping advance patient care across the entire pharmacy profession. At the height of the initial COVID-19 lockdown, across several staff members, ACCP participated in daily video calls with its colleagues in organizations representing the spectrum of the diverse pharmacy profession as they worked to coordinate their pandemic response.

Established in 1977, JCPP serves as a forum on matters of common interest and concern to national organizations representing pharmacy practitioners and invited liaison members. JCPP meets quarterly, with the practitioner organizations chairing and hosting meetings on a rotational basis. Typically, the practitioner organizations are represented around the JCPP table by their chief elected and executive officials.

Member organizations are focused on advancing the established JCPP Vision for Pharmacists’ Practice, which affirms that patients achieve optimal health and medication outcomes with pharmacists as essential and accountable providers within patient-centered, team-based health care. The JCPP Process of Care document serves to unite the profession across a common set of standards and expectations for patient care.

ACCP regularly collaborates with its colleague organizations at the JCPP table on a variety of advocacy initiatives, most recently to seek guidance from the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on pharmacist authorization to order and administer COVID-19 vaccinations. In a recent letter to HHS, signed by 13 organizations, the College requests specific clarification from HHS that pharmacists are authorized under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to order and administer FDA authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines. To avoid misunderstandings by state and local regulators and resulting delays, the letter calls on HHS to specify that its declaration under the PREP Act preempts any state or local requirement that prohibits or effectively prohibits a pharmacist from ordering and administering a COVID-19 vaccine that the FDA has authorized or approved. Click here to read the letter in full.

However, JCPP has no intrinsic authority to speak on behalf of the individual member organizations. Although JCPP serves as a forum for organizations to collaborate on areas of common policy, there is no expectation that participating pharmacy organizations “speak with one voice.” Indeed, pharmacy is a diverse profession, and it is essential that the many professional bodies representing the profession remain empowered to adopt policies that articulate the priorities of their individual members.

In April, when HHS first issued guidance on pharmacist-provided COVID-19 testing, ACCP led an effort, together with the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), to clarify the COVID-19 test reporting process integrity as well as ensure appropriate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for pharmacists. A copy of the letter is available here. In this case, although ACCP invited JCPP colleagues to join in this effort, only the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) and the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA) chose to join the College in this interprofessional effort.

ACCP celebrates the multifaceted diversity of the pharmacy profession and the fact that advanced clinical practice continues to evolve across all practice settings. The strength of an organization like JCPP lies in the role it plays as a forum for collegial and thoughtful discussion of key issues facing the profession. ACCP’s core values include its commitment to challenge the status quo, state its beliefs, and act on those beliefs in advocating for the College’s members and their patients, both within the profession and to external stakeholders. JCPP provides an opportunity for ACCP to seek support from its colleagues in areas of mutual priority and other issues to ensure that ACCP’s advocacy messages are suitably aligned and complementary. Pharmacy may not always speak with one voice, but ACCP is proud to carry a consistent advocacy message that truly aligns with a profession-wide vision for team-based, patient-centered clinical care.

Other COVID-19–Related Advocacy

  • ACCP continues to support efforts within the pharmacy profession and beyond to advance a proposal to provide student loan relief for key health personnel who engage in COVID-19 pandemic response efforts.
    • Click here to read the JCPP-led letter.
    • Click here to read the interprofessional letter.
  • ACCP co-signed a letter to Congress in support of including $100 million for the Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies program in the next COVID-19 legislative response package.
  • ACCP participated in a letter to House and Senate leaders of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittees in support of increased funding for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in FY 2021.
  • ACCP signed-on to a letter urging congressional leadership to support increased, sustained annual funding for state, local, tribal, and territorial public health infrastructure.
  • ACCP participated in a letter to HHS Secretary Azar calling for sustained funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).