VIRGINIA: The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) has launched a taskforce to investigate the pharmacological management of medical marijuana, a growing issue for Specialty Pharmacists as the number of patients with chronic diseases continue to rise.
“Medical marijuana has come to the forefront of patient care in many of the diseases that Specialty Pharmacists treat including Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, HIV and others,” Gary M. Cohen, NASP CEO said. “More education for physicians, pharmacists and patients is needed to ensure individuals receive the correct product with the correct efficacy and drug delivery system to fit their disease. As an organization, NASP believes that it has the responsibility, intellectual advisors and obligation to take the lead on this emerging area of medical care.”
Currently, there are no national standards of practice for the pharmaceutical management of medical marijuana, and 22 states, with others pending, have legislation addressing this issue.
NASP’s Professional Practice Committee will oversee a group of volunteers, representing all major stakeholder areas, to discuss the issue and provide a framework for future educational content, practice parameters or other standards of care, that serve the goal of improving patient care and equipping specialty pharmacists with the knowledge needed.
Once formed, the taskforce will develop a project framework and determine key areas of integration with current specialty prescription therapy for patients with chronic diseases.
“Essentially patients receive treatment from dispensaries, outside of their pharmaceutical regiment management, and we believe that a drug with such a broad scope should be managed effectively through the Specialty Pharmacist to ensure patient education and proper dispensing,” Cohen said.