Arlington, Va. – A new paper by the National Governors Association (NGA) titled The Expanding Role of Pharmacists in a Transformed Health Care System emphasizes pharmacists’ evolving roles beyond dispensing medications to providing direct patient care to patients. Following the paper’s release today, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE issued the following statement:

“The increased recognition by lawmakers – and the nation’s governors – of the evolving role of pharmacists in the healthcare delivery system is further realized today with the release of the new paper by the National Governors Association. Citing better integration of pharmacists in areas of chronic care and overall efforts to improve patient health, the paper urges an exploration of enabling pharmacists to work to the top of their license to better serve patients in the states.

“Pharmacists are committed to their current role in helping patients use medicines safely and stay healthy. Trusted and accessible, we know that pharmacists are also playing an increasingly important role in the delivery of healthcare services, and now commonly provide immunizations, as well as medication therapy management (MTM) services. Pharmacists’ education and expertise help patients prevent and manage chronic diseases and provide simple medical testing services to manage health.

“We know that pharmacists are also uniquely positioned to provide services to patients, especially in underserved areas where healthcare may not be readily available. And with increasing healthcare costs, pharmacists also help make healthcare more affordable for patients, offering opportunities to save money on prescription medications and other services that can help them better manage and improve their health.

“NACDS looks forward to continuing its efforts with state and federal officials to employ the correct strategies and policies to expand pharmacists’ ability to practice at the top of their license for the benefit of patients.”