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Leadership and Complex Issues (Galley)

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Richard P. Penna


American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Vol. 61, No. 3 (1997)
DOI: aj6103322.pdf




American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy


Pharmaceutical education and AACP frequently have been on the cutting edge of leadership within the pharmacy profession. Generally such leadership was exercised by virtue of educationís ability to dissect and analyze important issues, separate fact from emotion, and present issues so that they are understandable. At other times, educationís contributions have been through articulating a new theme on a long-held vision. Sometimes, itís been both. The issue of prescriptive authority by pharmacists is a case in point. For years, the profession has been ambivalent on the matter of pharmacists having the independent authority to prescribe drugs. Authority to prescribe medications has been viewed by many health professionals as the sine qua non of independent status within the health care community. Hence nurse practitioners, optometrists, dentists, and a variety of other professions have sought and received authority from their respective states to prescribe medicines. Pharmacists, naturally, have looked at such accomplishments and many wondered why they also should not have similar independent authority. Long-standing debates related to reclassification (third or fourth class of drugs) and therapeutic substitution/interchange have been variations on this theme.

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