The world of pharmaceuticals is constantly evolving as new medications are added to the market. As with any medical profession, it is important for a pharmacist to keep up with the latest information and innovations. This is where trade organizations become invaluable. There are numerous national and state pharmacy organizations. Today, we will discuss four of the most popular in the national arena.
American Pharmacists Association
This is the oldest and largest organization for pharmacists in the United States. Founded in 1852, this organization has members who are pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacist students, pharmaceutical scientists, and others who wish to advance in the profession. The association provides up-to-date information for members, provides professional development opportunities, and helps members connect with others in their profession so they may share industry insights. Two of the most important things the association does is raise public awareness about the important role of the pharmacist and help create awareness of industry issues with lawmakers and regulators.
National Community Pharmacists Association
NCPA members are primarily pharmacy owners, pharmacists and techs in privately owned pharmacies, and pharmacy students. The purpose of this association is to help those pharmacists who own and work in a community pharmacy. Resources are available to help with business plans, to aid members in finding services, and to assist retiring owners who want to find someone to take over the business. This is an excellent resource for those pharmacists who often feel the larger organizations are not addressing their specific needs in a smaller commercial setting.
American Society of Consultant Pharmacists
The goal of the ASCP is to help pharmacists increase the quality of care for geriatric patients by promoting understanding of the unique medication needs of seniors, advocating for seniors who are at risk for problems related to their medications, and sharing their expertise in assisting the elderly in long-term care environments. This society is a good fit for pharmacists and students who have a special interest in geriatric care.
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
ASHP is comprised of pharmacists who work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, health maintenance organizations, and other health care facilities. The society advocates for the ability of pharmacists to assist patients, provides continuing education, provides current drug information, hosts professional conferences, and publishes the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy as well as other references and training materials. This is a fantastic resource for those working in health care facilities.
Joining one, or perhaps several, organizations for pharmacists is a great way to keep abreast of current issues and opportunities. What professional organizations do you belong to, and what made you choose them?