An acute shortage of pharmacists exists in California – a shortage that

could mean decreased pharmacy hours or even medication errors due to

pharmacist fatigue. Pharmacy educators and leaders from throughout the

state will discuss the shortage and other pharmacy topics on Wednesday,

March 28, at Western University of Health Sciences.

The demand for prescription medications is growing at an unprecedented

rate, according to Max Ray, PharmD, MS, dean of Western University’s

College of Pharmacy. “”As our population grows older, the incidence of

chronic health problems increases, and pharmaceuticals are the principal

form of treatment for many such conditions,”” he said “”And this is

happening at a time when more and more new pharmaceutical products are

coming on the market. So we have a situation today where more people are

taking more medications.”” Ray also said that if a prescription drug

benefit is approved for Medicare patients, the demand for prescription

drugs will increase even more.

The Community Pharmacy Practice Summit II will be held from 9:30 a.m. to

2:30 p.m. in the University’s College of Pharmacy Classroom 3, Health

Professions Center, 309 E. Second Street, Pomona. Sponsored by Western

University’s College of Pharmacy and the pharmacy programs at UC San

Francisco, the University of the Pacific and the University of Southern

California, the conference will attract pharmacists from chain and

independent pharmacies, managed care executives, professional pharmacy

organizations, deans and faculty of the state’s schools of pharmacy and

members of the California’s Board of Pharmacy.

Other conference topics include the role of intern/student pharmacists in

community pharmacy practice and how community pharmacists can offer

services such as immunizations, smoking cessation programs, blood pressure

and cholesterol screenings and other health prevention/promotion programs

to their patients.

Panelists/speakers from Cal Optima, Blue Cross of California and Care

Partners will lead discussions. Pharmacists may receive four contact hours

of Continuing Education Credit. The conference is free, but pre-

registration is required.

For more information, contact Sam Shimomura, PharmD, FASHP, CGP, assistant

dean of development for Western University’s College of Pharmacy, at (909)

469-5547 or via e-mail at sshimo@westernu.edu.