Pharm.D. Costly, Unnecessary: Chain Executives

Article excerpt

If the purpose of implementing a mandatory Pharm.D. degree is to meet the needs of "future practice challenges," as stated in the 1989 American Council on Pharmaceutical Education's (ACPE) proposed guidelines, then where's the documentation showing that pharmaceutical services delivered by Pharm.D.s are superior to those delivered by R.Ph.s with bachelor's degrees?

That's what Janice Meikle, v.p. of professional and public affairs for Thrift Drug Inc., wants to know. In a prepared statement delivered at the ACPE Open Hearing on the Proposed Revised Standards for the Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Pharmacy Conference in Orlando last month, Meikle and other chain drugstore executives vehemently opposed the proposed mandatory Pharm.D. program.

"Where is the analysis and assessment . . . that might indicate that pharmacists who possess a Pharm.D. are more prepared to provide significantly better patient care than B.S. pharmacists?" Meikle asked. Kenneth W. Kirk, Ph.D., v.p.-academic affairs, NACDS, echoed Meikle's concern. "This emphasis on an external Pharm.D. program sends an underlying message that B.S.-trained pharmacists are not capable of being competent practitioners," he said.

"As you well know, no one has documented in any way that B.S.-trained pharmacists are a threat to public health and safety, nor do people in our industry have any concerns over the ability of these pharmacists to provide valuable patient services in the years ahead."

Citing the undocumented need for a doctorate degree for entry-level pharmacists and the excessive costs involved, Mary Ann Wagner, director of professional services for NACDS, urged ACPE not to abolish the present-day dual-degree program. …