Meg Barbor

November 30, 2015

NEW ORLEANS — Biosimilar drugs, antiplatelet therapy, and specialty medications — primarily oral oncolytics — will be among the hot topics discussed at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) 2015 Midyear Clinical Meeting, according to one of the meeting's lead presenters.

More than 20,000 professionals from 100 countries will attend the largest gathering of pharmacists, technicians, and pharmacy students in the United States.

"This year there will be a presentation on the pharmacogenomics of pain management," Barbara Giacomelli, PharmD, MBA, area vice president for Mckesson Pharmacy Optimization, told Medscape Medical News.

The topic of pain management has been covered extensively in the healthcare literature and in the news, and this is yet another strategy, she explained.

Clinical patient management in the hospital setting will be among the 150 educational programs offered at the ASHP Midyear, which is focusing on patient care and medication safety, according to meeting organizers.

There will also be presentations on transitions of care and patient medication management in the ambulatory setting, innovative pharmacy distribution strategies, intravenous automation, medication management in elderly patients and in children, and the use of data to evaluate patient outcomes and reduce the risk for readmission.

New Guidelines

New guidelines on US Pharmacopeia draft chapter 800 will be introduced. They will outline requirements for all aspects of hazardous drugs, including storage, mixing, preparing, compounding, dispensing, and administration.

A session on medication management from the emergency department to the intensive care unit will look at how different organizations are using electronic medical records to improve patient management.

"With the trend from hospital to ambulatory care, this type of session will help pharmacists and pharmacy leaders strategize on how they can better manage this process," said Dr Giacomelli.

In addition, a session on technology innovations in the specialty will address how to better manage data and technology and improve pharmacy services.

Pharmacists, technicians, and pharmacy students will also get the chance to learn about the Practice Advancement Initiative, the new version of the widely publicized Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI), at this year's meeting, according to Cynthia Von Heeringen, RPh, director of educational programs for ASHP.

The PPMI, which started in 2010, "has been widely embraced by ASHP members and state affiliates as a way to advance pharmacy practice in hospitals and health systems," she explained. It is a framework upon which pharmacist services can be built up in a number of areas.

"But as pharmacy practice has evolved, it has become clear that this ASHP and ASHP Foundation initiative must embrace and reflect a broader range of pharmacist services and care settings," said Dr Von Heeringen. The Practice Advancement Initiative reflects that range, she pointed out.

Pharmacy Practice Advancement

Laura and George W. Bush

The Pharmacy Forecast Report 2016–2020 issued by the ASHP Foundation will also be discussed at the meeting. "This will be the fourth edition of the report, which has become a key resource for pharmacy leaders as they plan to strategically lead the pharmacy enterprise," Dr Von Heeringen reported.

And at the Personnel Placement Service the industry's largest and most widely attended national pharmacy recruitment event — more than 2000 pharmacy candidates can make residency, fellowship, and employment connections with nearly 400 employers.

The keynote address will be presented by George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, and his wife, Laura.

On Wednesday evening, attendees looking to take in some of the local New Orleans flavor can take a tour the world-famous float den, where all the sculptures, props, and floats used for Mardi Gras are stored.

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