Why this petition matters
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Notice: This is an updated version of the petition. The original petition published on 2/10 is available at the end of this version.
For centuries pharmacists have been amongst the most respected and trusted health professionals. We are a vital resource in every neighborhood and we nurture communities across the United States. However, in the past decade, the organizations that are meant to represent us have abandoned pharmacist at the frontlines. We have attempted to each use our voices to bring attention to the myriad growing problems within our industry - from the proliferation of new pharmacy schools, falling wages, to increasing job insecurity - but our concerns have fallen on deaf ears.
Our professional organizations have focused on federal policies that claim to be the future of pharmacy, but these issues are far removed from the reality for the majority of practicing pharmacists. Pharmacists have been taken advantage of by profit-driven corporations. With severe staff cuts, significant unpaid off-the-clock work, insurmountable performance metrics, reduction in wages - the modern pharmacist is not a provider, but an exhausted employee fastened to the cog of corporate profiteering.
Pharmacists everywhere are suffering and patient care is in peril. Pharmacists have disappeared from patient engagement into the chasm of pharmacy performance metrics.
This is the reality for pharmacists everywhere today, but it should not be tomorrow’s. The abuse upon our professional values can stop today with your action and leadership.
We believe that antitrust rules which allow for further exacerbation of labor saturation is a market failure that requires immediate attention. Our single-demand petition garnered 14,000 signatures in less than 10 days but inadequate accreditation standards is merely the leading edge. Here we present a blueprint to restore the integrity, mission, and prestige of the pharmacy profession. We implore leaders of APhA, ACCP, ACPE, NCPA, NPhA, and NABP to work productively with your member pharmacists and #ChangePharmacy to achieve the following:
Establish an Accreditation Reform Task Force
- Establish new enforceable and measurable metrics to accreditation standards
- Accreditation standards to reject satellite pharmacy schools
- Accreditation standards to reject distance learning programs
- Accreditation standards to require NAPLEX pass rates above 80% to maintain accreditation status
- Halt accepting new accreditation applications until new standards are installed
- Appoint a #ChangePharmacy member to the task force
Establish a Pharmacist-First Task Force
- Establish and advocate for a maximum prescription-to-pharmacist ratio
- Establish and advocate for a maximum prescription-to-technician ratio
- Mandate lunch breaks for every 6 hours worked, with no waivers allowed
- Reject and prohibit the use of pharmacy performance metrics that interfere with patient care and education
- Support minimum starting pharmacy technician wage at $15/hour
- Support increasing patient-education time in pharmacy workflow
Appoint a #ChangePharmacy member to the task force
Establish a Pharmacy Responsibility and Opportunity Plan
- College deans to pledge to reduce class sizes by 10%
- Conduct annual pharmacy labor force forecast for public reference
- Address instability in training and labor opportunities
- Identify and implement strategies to reduce rising student debt burden
Pharmacists defend and advocate for public health everyday and improve healthcare accessibility indiscriminately. Now, it is time for us to defend the integrity of pharmacy and to protect the pharmacists that will inherit this profession from us.
We are sending this petition and message to you because we believe change can be executed by your united leadership. We are all pharmacists at our core and we share the same hope for advancing healthcare in our communities. Helping us achieve our goals is a smart investment toward reaching a shared vision for the pharmacist of the future.
This blueprint will serve as our initial effort to #ChangePharmacy. We look forward to continue working productively with all the named organizations. Together, we can all advance and protect the profession we honor and cherish for the coming decade.
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
The pharmacy profession is at the crossroads of technological disruption and corporate pharmacy mergers that will bring about strong change to our profession. Many efforts are underway to expand the services that pharmacists provide to adapt to these new changes. Yet, the graduating number of pharmacists, in addition to those graduating from newly accredited schools, will outpace this adjustment.
We believe it is unethical to attract a larger population of student pharmacists when the profession is unable sustain or provide adequate employment at the end of the students' academic career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) places pharmacy growth at 6%, which lags behind the average of all occupations (7%) and significantly behind health diagnosing and treating professionals (22%). According to the BLS, most pharmacy jobs of 2020 will be offered in ambulatory care and in hospital specialties. Yet, current pharmacy residencies are limited - only 60% of PharmD students that applied to a PGY1 program matched. Contrast this to our medicine colleagues, they achieved a 94.3% match rate for PGY1 programs. It is dangerous to have an increasing number of PharmD students that cannot attain the necessary skills for the future of the profession.
We also believe we are placing our profession in danger - and ultimately the patients we serve in danger - when top pharmacy schools are advertising a CGPA of 3.0 as being competitive. Pharmacy is a demanding profession that requires a mental acuity and rigor for the sciences that is unparalleled to other professions. By accrediting new schools without increasing quality applicants, we are encouraging predatory practices to recruit under-prepared students for the profession. This will place patient safety and the integrity of our profession at risk.
To this end, we urge the leaders in ACPE, AACP, and APhA to halt and/or postpone accreditation of new pharmacy schools until 2030. While 10 years may be a long pause for accreditation, this time period would allow our profession to achieve the following goals:
- Increase and expand pharmacy services across hospitals and community pharmacies
- A competitive pool of applicants applying into existing pharmacy schools
- Increase funding and political will to support more residencies and fellowships across fields and specialties
- Public policy legislation that would recognize and pay pharmacists for the services provided
These goals are essential to the survival of our profession and to keep pace with the changing healthcare landscape. We urge that the stakeholders consider halting the accreditation process to allow pharmacy professional organizations and its lobbying arms to make significant strides in these areas before accrediting new schools. Failure to do so would be recruiting new pharmacy students in bad faith.
We urge you to take action to preserve the profession we love and cherish, to safeguard the patients we serve, and to defend the high standards of practice.
- Lucinda Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph.Executive Vice President & CEO, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
- Tom Menighan, BPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon)Executive Vice President & CEO, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
- Peter H. Vlasses, PharmD, DSc (Hon.), FCCPExecutive Director, Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
- Bill OsbornPresident, National Community Pharmacists Association
- B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBAChief Executive Officer, National Community Pharmacists Association