Every pharmacist, student pharmacist and pharmacy technician has at least one organization that embodies his or her interests and concerns. The associations, boards, colleges and societies advocate for laws and regulations that recognize and reward members’ patient care efforts, develop and provide continuing education, and hold meetings where members can network, learn, find jobs and socialize.
A first attempt to list U.S.-based national pharmacy associations came up well short. It includes only the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians, American Pharmacists Association, International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Community Pharmacists Association, National Pharmacy Technician Association and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
This subsequent rundown of, and introduction to, 14 more professional and educational organizations corrects many oversights and omissions. If you don’t see your group listed, email me so I can add it and steer potential members your way.
Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy
Members & Mission: AMCP exists for pharmacists and other health care practitioners and administrators employed by, or concerned with, pharmacy benefits managers. Mail-service pharmacists have a home here.
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
Members & Mission: ACPE maintains and applies standards for pharmacist and pharmacy technician continuing education, as well as for schools and colleges of pharmacy.
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
Members & Mission: Administrators and faculty members join the AACP to learn about innovations in pharmacy education and receive support for teaching and education research.
American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
Members & Mission: In its statement of purpose, AAPS commits to bringing together industry and university researchers to share and integrate information about drug and drug delivery system “discovery, design, analysis, development, production, quality control, safety, clinical evaluation, regulation, distribution, and utilization.”
American College of Clinical Pharmacy
Members & Mission: ACCP supports research, education and training to further pharmacists’ involvement in direct patient care encompassing pharmacotherapy, counseling and health status monitoring.
American Institute of the History of Pharmacy
Members & Mission: Affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy, the AIHP exists to study and bring attention to significant accomplishments of pharmacy practitioners and scientists.
American Society of Consultant Pharmacists
Members & Mission: The society supports pharmacists who specialize in geriatric care, and ASCP members generally practice in long-term care facilities, patients’ homes and hospices.
Board of Pharmacy Specialties
Members & Mission: The BPS coordinates testing, continuing education and recertification for pharmacists specializing in ambulatory care, nuclear pharmacy, nutrition support, oncology, psychiatric pharmacy and pharmacotherapy (with additional qualifications in cardiology and infectious diseases).
Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Members & Mission: ISMP claims to be the only U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated solely to preventing medication errors. Staff educate pharmacists, technicians, prescribers and patients about problems like sound-alike and spelled-alike drug names, inaccurate dose measuring and error reporting.
National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations
Members & Mission: NASPA brings together state pharmacy association executives and practice leaders to share information and coordinate activities to support and advocate for pharmacist, technicians and students. Its website features a list of links to each state’s largest professional pharmacy organization.