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April 16, 2020

New ASHP Resources and Efforts to Help You Combat COVID-19

Dear Colleagues,

Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

ASHP CONTINUES TO WORK ACROSS MULTIPLE FRONTS to help our members and all healthcare professionals to address the COVID-19 pandemic. We have intensified our advocacy efforts and continue to create new and timely resources to ensure that you are prepared to meet the demands of this sustained public health crisis.

Based on concerns expressed by ASHP members who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve had calls with a wide array of industry stakeholders, including wholesalers, about ways to help ensure that providers have the medications they need to treat their patients. Please continue to let us know of challenges you may be facing related to COVID-19, and we will work to do everything we can to help address them at the national level.

To that end, today, we launched a new COVID-19 microsite to better organize our resources and optimize access for those who need them. The microsite features content for pharmacists and other healthcare providers in key areas, including patient care, infection prevention, policy and advocacy, and more. We will continue to enhance the site with new and updated content, which remains open to all professionals who are engaged in the COVID-19 response.

A critical focus of our continued support remains facilitating real-time information sharing among pharmacists, including those in the current epicenters, to help ongoing response efforts and prepare areas where the peak of the pandemic is yet to come.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have accelerated production on our popular @ASHPOfficial podcast, moving to a daily release schedule. We have produced 20 episodes to date dedicated to COVID-19 on topics that include managing drug shortages, evaluating the scientific literature, and ethical considerations. Last week, a member let us know that information from an @ASHPOfficial podcast helped her to change treatment protocols for patients at her long-term care facility, potentially saving many lives. I encourage you to subscribe to @ASHPOfficial to receive this free, timely content that includes credible information, best practices, and important experiences from your peers who are working on the front lines of the pandemic.

We have also recently launched a free webinar series dedicated to COVID-19 response. Tomorrow’s live webinar describes how New York’s Mount Sinai Health System and Montefiore Health System responded to their COVID-19 patient surge, and the coordinated efforts of New York City’s pharmacy leadership to support hospitals and health systems. Please be on the lookout for new webinars each week that will provide valuable perspective and intelligence on how pharmacists in varied settings are responding to the pandemic.

Our COVID-19 Connect Community has become a robust venue for discussion and information sharing among pharmacists. There are more than 52,000 community members actively engaged in 800 different discussion threads covering a range of topics. ASHP is also using this platform to help inform our efforts to develop and deliver crucial resources to assist those on the front lines.

I would also like to make you aware of another new initiative launched this week by ASHP. The Pharmacy Executive Leadership AllianceTM – or PELATM – was created for chief pharmacy officers and multi-hospital system pharmacy executive leaders who face distinct challenges working within highly complex, vertically and horizontally integrated networks and multi-hospital health systems.

PELA will leverage ASHP’s resources for information exchange on issues unique to this executive-level group. PELA participants will gain valuable insights on market trends and innovations for advancing medication use that is always optimal, safe, and effective for all people across our nation’s complex health networks. Key areas of focus will include health-system-wide integration of digital and telehealth, effective enterprise revenue cycle management, strategies for addressing industry disrupters, optimization of horizontal and vertical integration, and new technologies and science. Emerging issues related to COVID-19 business recovery will also be addressed.

Although ASHP has been planning the launch of PELA for some time, the unprecedented demands of the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the importance of providing opportunities to connect and share critical information for pharmacy executives. I look forward to sharing more information about this exciting initiative, as well as relevant outputs from the group, with our members in the future.

Finally, I wanted to share some news from the advocacy front. This week, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced flexibilities for satellite hospitals or clinics as a result of COVID-19. During the national emergency, DEA will allow a DEA-registered hospital or clinic to handle controlled substances at a satellite hospital or clinic location under the organization’s current registrations. DEA is relaxing limits on the distribution of controlled substances between practitioners. Under the new flexibility, registered practitioners can distribute or dispense more than 5% of their total doses to another registered practitioner without registering as a distributor. Practically speaking, this will better enable health systems and hospitals to get controlled substances where they are most needed. DEA is also allowing distributors to ship controlled substances directly to these satellite hospitals or clinics. This is a significant change for many of our members who use additional satellite hospital and clinic locations to accommodate the large influx of COVID-19 patients presenting for treatment. Having these flexibilities will allow our members to more effectively treat their patients.

I am also pleased to note that, at the urging of ASHP and its members, USP has issued “Operational Considerations for Sterile Compounding During COVID-19 Pandemic,” a new document that supports risk-based enforcement discretion of compounding standards. The document addresses the assignment of beyond-use dates and considerations for certification and recertification of engineering controls, and reinforces CDC recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting a facility when someone is ill.

On Tuesday, ASHP, the American Pharmacists Association, and the National Community Pharmacists Association authored a letter to New York Sen. Chuck Schumer thanking him for recognizing pharmacists as providers of essential patient care services and asking him to support pharmacists’ critical role as frontline healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. ASHP will continue to work with Sen. Schumer and others to recognize the vital patient care role of pharmacists and to support the proposed Heroes Fund legislation that provides premium pay for essential front line workers – including pharmacists – during this current public health crisis, and we will continue our broader efforts to advocate for expanded patient access to pharmacist services.

In closing, please know that we remain committed to supporting you by providing robust, timely, and relevant resources to assist you in your practice, to advocate on your behalf, and to help you focus on your own health and well-being during this ongoing public health emergency.

Thank you for being a member of ASHP and for everything that you do for your patients and our profession.

Sincerely,

Paul

 

April 30, 2019

ASHP Joins the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic as a Sponsoring Member

Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

I AM PLEASED TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT ASHP has become a sponsoring member of the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. The other Collaborative Sponsors are:

  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
  • Aetna
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Medical Association
  • Arnold Ventures
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • CDC Foundation
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Council of Medical Specialty Societies
  • Federation of State Medical Boards
  • HCA Healthcare
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The mission of the Action Collaborative is to “convene and catalyze public, private, and non-profit stakeholders to develop, curate, and disseminate multi-sector solutions designed to reduce opioid misuse and improve outcomes for individuals, families, and communities affected by the opioid crisis.”

ASHP and our 50,000 members who serve as direct patient care providers in hospitals, health systems, rehabilitation centers and ambulatory clinics will bring a great deal of expertise to the Collaborative and play a major role to mitigate and end the opioid epidemic on behalf of our patients and communities, while ensuring that our patients receive appropriate pain management.

ASHP will serve on the Action Collaborative’s Opioid Prescribing Guidelines and Evidence Standards Working Group, and will also be providing insights and expertise to the Collaborative’s Health Professional Education and Training Working Group; Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Working Group; and Research, Data, and Metrics Needs Working Group.  As part of our initial work with the Collaborative, we have made several commitments that include but are not limited to:

  • Creation and dissemination of patient and prescriber education on pain management and opioid abuse mitigation best practices.
  • Enhanced patient access to evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder through increased utilization of pharmacists on the healthcare team.
  • Standardization of a framework for pain stewardship to coordinate pain management, opioid prescribing, and use of non-opioid therapies.
  • Coordination of care among patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals through the use of standardized patient-specific pain management and substance use disorder treatment plans.
  • Improvement of interoperability, artificial intelligence, and clinical decision support in healthcare information systems.
  • Identification of performance and quality metrics to assess impact.
  • Stimulating research on pain and opioid use disorders and their respective pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments.
  • Advancing efforts to prepare the pharmacy workforce through pharmacy education and professional development programs.

ASHP has also been actively involved in numerous public and private sector efforts to address the opioid crisis through the leadership of pharmacists and has worked diligently across a number of fronts to identify enduring solutions, including advocating for better access to medication-assisted treatment. We had the pleasure of working with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and attending the ceremony to commemorate the signing of H.R. 6, the “SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act,” bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid crisis in October. ASHP will also continue to pursue policies that further support the vital roles pharmacists play as patient care providers in the treatment of acute and chronic conditions, including opioid and substance-use disorders.

You can find additional ASHP resources on our website, including:

We look forward to sharing more about our work with the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic and on ASHP’s ongoing efforts surrounding the opioid crisis, including creating various tools, education, and resources to support you in your practice.

Thank you for being a member of ASHP, and for everything that you do for your patients.

Sincerely,

Paul

February 13, 2019

A3 Collaborative Elevates Diabetes Care in Rural Appalachia

Amy Westmoreland, Pharm.D., BCGP, counsels a patient about her medications.

Amy Westmoreland, Pharm.D., BCGP, Pharmacy Manager and Clinical Pharmacist at Carilion Giles Community Hospital, has a frontline view of the challenges of diabetes management. For years she wondered if there was a way for her and the other pharmacists at the hospital to provide services to patients beyond filling lifesaving prescriptions. Many of the patients admitted to the 25-bed facility in rural Appalachia were there due to lack of adherence to a diabetes medication regimen.

“Many of my patients didn’t understand all of the complexities involved in taking care of their diabetes, and that could spell disaster once they were discharged from the hospital,” explained Dr. Westmoreland. She noticed that some patients weren’t entirely sure how to monitor their blood sugar, and others had only a vague idea of what they should and should not eat. Many were resistant to any sort of dietary education, or those interventions proved to be ineffective.

A3 Collaborative
About a year ago, Dr. Westmoreland heard about a unique program known as the A3 Collaborative. The collaborative is made up of three organizations – ASHP, Apexus, and AIMM (Alliance for Integrated Medication Management). Its purpose is to help healthcare providers and organizations step in to and succeed in the new era of value-based payment models. The A3 Collaborative provides funding to hospitals that would like to bolster the role pharmacists play in value-based patient care.

Dr. Westmoreland (right), collaborates with case manager Jody Janney, R.N., medical social worker Drema Gautier, Mariana Gomez De La Espriella, M.D., and hospitalist Stephanie Boggs, Pharm.D.

Through Dr. Westmoreland’s efforts, Carilion became a member of the A3 Collaborative and was the recipient of 12 months of guidance and leadership from ASHP, Apexus, and AIMM. The comprehensive medication management program she and her colleagues created with help from the collaborative is simple, but it’s already delivering significant results. Carilion’s new value-based patient care model allows diabetes patients more access to their pharmacist in the days, weeks, and months after discharge.

“Our patients are really happy that they have someone they can turn to, someone they can call and help them understand their illness better,” said Dr. Westmoreland. There have been times when she met patients who were on 30 different medications and they needed someone who could help them understand their diabetes management plan.

Postdischarge Counseling
Dr. Westmoreland and her colleagues started the program in July 2018, and they are currently following 22 patients after discharge. Before the patient is discharged, Dr. Westmoreland and her colleagues meet with the patient. They review their medication list and determine what information and help they may need after they’re discharged from the hospital and moved to ambulatory care.

Before discharge from the hospital, the attending pharmacist will ask the patient if they’d like a follow up phone call from a pharmacist to answer any lingering questions. The pharmacist also provides their information and phone number so the patient can contact them during business hours.

If a patient opts into the medication management program, then the pharmacist coach will call to follow up at 10 days, 20 days, a month, and two months after discharge. After that, calls are made once a month. During each call, a pharmacist ask a specific list of questions:

  • Are you able to afford your medication?
  • Are you taking your meds as prescribed?
  • How often do you check your blood sugar?
  • What is the range of your blood sugar ratings? Are you keeping a log?
  • Are you having any side effects such as low blood sugar occurrences?

Although the program is still relatively new, Dr. Westmoreland and her colleagues have already identified a number of medication-related problems such as duplication errors. They found, for example, that one patient was unnecessarily taking two different forms of thyroid replacement therapy. She’s observed other concerning trends as well: Many patients don’t understand the difference between long-acting insulin and short-acting insulin. Some patients are unclear how — and when — to test their blood sugar, or why it is important that a patient log this information for their doctor to review at follow-up appointments.

“Taking the time that is required to effectively review a medication list is time-consuming,” said Dr. Westmoreland. “That’s where a pharmacist has the skill set to come in and effectively look at the medications and provide recommendations for eliminating some drugs that may not be necessary, or optimize doses to make things better for the patient.”

Amy Westmoreland, Pharm.D., BCGP

Closing the Care Gap
Dr. Westmoreland said the program also addresses the disconnect that often exists between specialists and a primary care physician, especially when a patient’s doctors are not all contained in one facility — meaning there may be more than one electronic medical system where the patient’s records are kept.

“There’s a huge gap in care, in my opinion, without having the pharmacist on the care team for every patient,” said Dr. Westmoreland. “I think we’re at a crossroads in healthcare with having the pharmacist on the care team. Pharmacists have a unique knowledge of the medications, and they understand what a normal dose would be and what an exorbitant dose would be. They could look at a prescription and realize something is off or not correct, whereas nurses and doctors may not be looking at the medication lists in the way that pharmacists do.”

A3 Adds Value
Melanie Smith, Pharm.D., BCACP, DPLA, Director of ASHP’s Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners, serves as a staff liaison for the A3 Collaborative. She noted that the collaborative allows ASHP members to test out great ideas that could help keep patients out of the hospital. “Many of our members are being tasked with setting up a clinic or setting up a service in an ambulatory care setting,” said Dr. Smith. “Participating in a program like the A3 Collaborative provides them with essential coaching and mentoring, and helps provide a foundation and the bridge they need to transition the clinical practice from inpatient to outpatient.”

Dr. Westmoreland, for her part, hopes the success of the program will demonstrate the value of adding pharmacists to patient-care teams. “We’re trying to be very proactive before the point of discharge.” It’s important, she said, for patients to have someone they can turn to when their diabetes management becomes overwhelming, or they can’t afford their prescriptions, or their doctor is not readily available to answer questions. “I would like others to see there’s enough value in this program for it to be expanded across the system and across the nation.”

 

By Jessica Firger

 

# # #

July 1, 2013

Oklahoma Community Recovers Through Pharmacists’ Help

Filed under: Current Issue,Feature Stories — Tags: , , , , , , , — Kathy Biesecker @ 3:38 pm
Barbara Poe takes a break in the medication area of the Heart to Heart International's mobile medication unit. Photo courtesy of Nina Morris.

Barbara Poe takes a break in the medication area of the Heart to Heart International’s mobile medication unit. Photo courtesy of Nina Morris.

BARBARA POE NO LONGER WORKS as the lead pharmacist at 45-bed Moore Medical Center in Oklahoma. A tornado destroyed the building on May 20. But in the days that followed, the Norman Regional Health System employee volunteered at one of the mobile medical units in Moore and scheduled other volunteer pharmacy personnel to assist.

The response to her two e-mails requesting volunteers to work six-hour shifts was overwhelming, Poe said. So was the flatbed truck with 18 pallets of donations from a small hospital in Nebraska where the pharmacy director decided to take action.

“We are so grateful for all of the people who supported us,” Poe said. “I mean it is just truly heartwarming.”

A Group Effort

Kansas-based Heart to Heart International, a relief organization, had its mobile medical unit in Moore by 1 a.m. on May 21, Poe said.

One of the organization’s personnel contacted Norman Regional for pharmaceuticals, Poe said. By the midday of May 23, she and Darin Smith, the assistant director for pharmacy services and performance improvement, had delivered albuterol inhalers, ceftriaxone injection, and other pharmaceutical items. She had also ordered additional pharmaceuticals for a return trip the next day.

Poe, after that first visit to the mobile medical unit, said she “may ultimately end up doing some volunteer work.”

What caught her interest in the mobile medical unit was a small area at one end. It had an under-the-counter refrigerator and shelves with bins of medications. She said a pharmacist from a local community pharmacy happened to be onsite.

Poe said the unit’s volunteers “jumped” at the idea of her arranging to have a pharmacist onsite for all the hours the medical clinic operates.

With that approval, Poe said later, she e-mailed the president of the Oklahoma Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the executive director of the Oklahoma Pharmacists Association “just asking for volunteers.” Her intent was to have two six-hour shifts per day—8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 2 to 8 p.m.—with each shift staffed by two pharmacists or a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician.

She estimated that 50–60 pharmacists from all over the state volunteered to work at least one shift.

A Personal Crusade

One of those volunteers was Chelsea Church, the 2010–11 president of the Oklahoma Society and now the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy’s pharmacist compliance officer for the southwestern region.

“It was personal,” Church said of her volunteer work on May 30.

She and her husband formerly lived in Moore and her husband still works there. Church said a former house of theirs was severely damaged by the May 20 tornado.

So when Smith e-mailed on the morning of May 30 asking if she could fill in for someone who had canceled, Church said, she took a vacation day to help out.

Church said she dispensed about 10 prescription medications—mostly antiinfectives for wounds and corticosteroids for rashes—and filled syringes with tetanus vaccine.

When no pharmacist was present in the mobile medical unit, she learned, patients received prescriptions to take to a community pharmacy.

The mobile medical unit stocked maintenance medications, such as antidepressants, antihypertensive agents, and diabetes treatments, for people who had lost their supplies in the disaster, Church said.

But most of the patients, she said, actually were out-of-the-area people who had come to Moore to help clear the debris. They came to the mobile medical unit after stepping on rusty nails or otherwise hurting themselves while helping others.

Poe estimated that Norman Regional Hospital had sent at least 1000 doses, perhaps 1500, of tetanus vaccine to the mobile medical unit in the first 10 days after its arrival.

“I know the hospital has been hit financially,” she said, “but whatever they’ve needed to shore up this [mobile medical] clinic, the hospital has just said, ‘Go do it.’”

Poe said one pharmacist who showed up unexpectedly at the mobile medical unit wanted to help even though there was no room for a third pharmacist.

This pharmacist, Poe said, asked about administering vaccines in the field and walked to the building of the nearby county health department, but she learned that it lacked tetanus vaccine.

“So, we supplied 150 doses of tetanus vaccine for her to go out into the field with one of the teams that [the health department] was sending out,” Poe said.

Feeling Compelled to Help

Another unexpected arrival, she said, was the pallets of donations that a flatbed truck delivered to Norman Regional Hospital.

Rachel Forster, pharmacy director at 25-bed Sidney Regional Medical Center in Nebraska, said The Weather Channel’s footage on Moore after the tornado struck her emotionally.

“I just felt compelled that we had to do something to help,” she said.

It was the everyday person in Moore, Forster said, for whom she felt compassion. “What do you do when everything you have is gone?”

Fortunately for her, she said, the pharmacy had recently expanded to “24-7-365” service through the hiring of direct employees. There were now two day-shift pharmacists, two night-shift pharmacists, and a full-time pharmacy technician in addition to Forster.

On obtaining approvals from her supervisor, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer and e-mailing Poe and Smith, Forster said she made appeals for donations of tangibles on the radio and in the local newspaper.

Forster said she used her local connections in the community of roughly 6000 to arrange the logistics. Sidney-based Adams Industries Inc. agreed to provide a flatbed truck and driver. A local farm implements company, 21st Century Equipment Inc., donated 18 pallets, shrink-wrap, and a location to store the donations.

“We kind of challenged the community to make it a success,” she said. “And everybody here wanted to do something.”

Forster said the first donation was toys from a Sidney Regional employee’s five-year-old granddaughter who was told that the images of Moore on television meant the community’s children no longer had toys of their own.

The donations, Forster said, ran the gamut of things that Sidney residents thought they would need quickly if they lost their home.

Poe, when interviewed by happenstance several hours after the arrival of the truck from Sidney, said “I about passed out.” She had imagined four or five boxes that could fit in the SUV that is substituting for her own, which was destroyed in the tornado while in the parking lot at Moore Medical Center.

Heart to Heart’s mobile medical unit left Moore on June 2, said Dan Weinbaum, director of communications. The county health department at that time took over operations from the relief organization whose personnel and volunteers, he said, function as “early responders.”

As of May 30, according to Smith, Norman Regional’s pharmacy personnel had donated $1000 and the pharmacy had received $500 from the Oklahoma Society of Health-System Pharmacists and $1800 from elsewhere to cover the costs of medications in the relief effort in Moore.

—By Cheryl A. Thompson

Editor’s Note: This article, which was originally published in the online version of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, is reprinted with permission.

June 1, 2010

Not Your Average Pharmacy Job

Left to right: James A. Jorgenson, M.S., Vernie R. Coleman Daniels, M.S., Laurel Kinosian, FSVHP

PRACTICING PHARMACY IN A HOSPITAL OR HEALTH SYSTEM is a challenging and exciting field with abundant career opportunities. But have you ever wondered what it would be like to pursue a nontraditional career path? Although most ASHP members practice in hospitals and health systems, some clinical pharmacists work in unexpected places.

“There are so many things pharmacists have the skill sets to do,” said Vernie R. Coleman Daniels, M.S., a research pharmacist employed by acontractor who does pharmaceutical research at Johnson Space Center in Houston. “I never would have imagined when I was in pharmacy school that I’d be doing what I’m doing today,” Daniels said, adding that opportunities for pharmacists exist in a broad range of alternative environments.

Out of This World
For Daniels, working with NASA is a path of discovery. “Medications and drug delivery systems work differently in a weightless environment,” she said. “The information in the literature about standard forms and doses may or may not be applicable. The setting is harsh.”

Zero gravity is the most obvious difference between earth and space, Daniels said, but temperature, humidity, radiation, vibration, and storage logistics are also variables that can influence a medication’s performance in space.

“We have to become creative when considering dosage forms and dosage delivery systems, which may not work the same way in the space environment as they do on earth,” Daniels said. “The blessing is that our patient population is healthy, requiring little or no pharmacotherapeutic intervention. However, should the need arise, our job is to ensure that safe and effective medication is available.”

Going for Gold
James A. Jorgenson, M.S., executive director of pharmacy at Clarian Health Methodist Hospital’s Department of Pharmacy, Indianapolis, also had the opportunity to work with patients who, though quite healthy, came with their own set of challenges: He provided pharmacy services on-site at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. At the time, he was employed at the University of Utah, whose campus served as the Olympic Village. Having played college ice hockey and being a fan of numerous sports, Jorgenson jumped at the opportunity.

From the get-go, Jorgenson and his team had to tap into their own resources of ingenuity. “We thought there would be data from previous Olympics, but there wasn’t,” he said. “We had to design the forms and create the list of banned substances from scratch. “We had to work with about 20 different pharmacopeias in addition to learning which drugs might get an athlete into trouble.”

They also worked with Pfizer Inc. to create a drug information center for the athletes, their families, and visitors from all over the world—a potential patient population of nearly 250,000 people. “Fortunately, the Olympic Committee provided interpreters,” Jorgenson said.

Although no one can be sure when the U.S. will host the Olympics next, there are opportunities to get involved in pharmacy for athletes, Jorgenson said. “There are banned substances in every major sports league, which creates an opportunity for education,” he said. “In fact, I don’t know of any league that has a good education program, so that’s something to explore.”

All Creatures Great and Small
Interpreters may have helped Jorgenson at the Olympics, but they wouldn’t be of much assistance to Laurel Kinosian, FSVHP. As a clinical instructor of pharmacy with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and president of the Society of Veterinary Hospital Pharmacists, Kinosian works with patients that bark, yip, growl, meow, squawk, hiss, or simply look at her.

Veterinary pharmacists have many of the same clinical and administrative responsibilities as their counterparts in hospital pharmacy. Compounded medications must comply with requirements of state and provincial boards of pharmacy, federal regulations, and legislative statutes, much like those created for human patients.

However, animals present a plethora of unique challenges. For one thing, many veterinarians prescribe human medications for use in animals. Because of this cross-species use, veterinary pharmacists must be research-oriented and curious, said Kinosian.

“How do I get this drug into this animal? Is there any dosing information? Is there anything in the literature about this drug in this species?” she said. “You can’t make assumptions from one species to another, and the answers aren’t necessarily written in a book somewhere.”

To that end, veterinary pharmacists often turn to one another. “Veterinary pharmacy is a smaller world than human pharmacy,” Kinosian said. “That’s one of the best parts about it for me. We all get to know each other, and everyone helps.”

Getting Started
If you are interested in exploring all the options available for pharmacists who practice within hospitals and health systems, take a look at ASHP’s CareerPharm website or the information and resources on ASHP’s website.

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