Member Pharmacy Practice

House of Delegates Agenda Includes AI, Psychedelics, and Licensure Exams 

Jodie Tillman
Jodie Tillman Writer/Content Strategist Published: June 3, 2024
House of Delegates 2022

The ASHP House of Delegates (HOD) will consider some of pharmacy’s hottest issues when it convenes next week at ASHP Pharmacy Futures 2024 in Portland, Oregon.

Included on the agenda of the HOD’s 76th annual meeting are policies on artificial intelligence (AI), independent prescribing authority, and pregnancy testing.

Melanie Dodd, the outgoing HOD chair, said she is excited to work with delegates on policies that have a meaningful impact on pharmacy practice.

“Our words make a difference,” she said.


Dodd pointed out that this year’s debates on two proposed AI policies are particularly well-timed. “The discussions around AI by the HOD will dovetail nicely with the AI Summit to be held during the Pharmacy Futures 2024 meeting,” said Dodd.

  • One proposal (Council on Education and Workforce Development) encourages colleges of pharmacy to adopt policies on the appropriate use of AI in education. The rapid advancement of generative AI, such as ChatGPT, raises concerns about academic integrity and plagiarism.
  • A second proposal (Council on Pharmacy Practice) focuses on healthcare organizations, urging them to develop policies, procedures, and guidelines to determine the appropriate use of AI. With questions surrounding the benefits and risks of AI in healthcare, pharmacists must take a leading role on the interprofessional teams to research, develop, and implement technologies that affect medication use.

Independent prescribing authority

A recommendation from the Council on Pharmacy Practice advocates that pharmacists have independent and autonomous authority to initiate, modify, and deprescribe all schedules and classes of medications.

  • Autonomous prescribing ensures pharmacists on healthcare teams can use their skills to the fullest potential and help lead medication management treatment plans. The policy also advocates that all pharmacists have a National Provider Identifier recognized by payers.


Testing for pregnancy status

A recommendation from the Council on Therapeutics affirms that pregnancy testing should occur only with informed consent and only when the test results would change medical management. With the repeal of Roe v. Wade, pregnancy status could complicate women’s care.

  • Chief pharmacy officers often oversee laboratory medicine departments, and pharmacists are often involved in creating protocols that govern pregnancy testing and screenings. The policy aligns ASHP with the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Psychedelic-assisted therapy

A Council on Therapeutics recommendation recognizes psychedelic-assisted therapy has shown potential and should be the subject of additional research. ASHP would use this policy to provide guidance on an emerging area of therapy for which there are limited data and no standardized product.

  • The proposed policy would also encourage state boards of pharmacy and other regulators to promote research best practices and standards for preparation, compounding, and administration of psychedelic therapies.
  • “This policy has some parallels to conversations we’ve had in the past around medical marijuana,” said Dodd.

Opposition to pharmacy jurisprudence examination requirement

A recommendation from the Council on Education and Workforce Development advocates for the removal of a standalone examination of federal or state pharmacy law as a requirement for licensure.

  • National pharmacy associations have joined in advocacy for a more portable pharmacist license. However, pharmacist interstate movement and practice are inhibited by the state-specific nature of the pharmacy jurisprudence exam.

Prehospital management of medications

A recommendation from the Council on Pharmacy Practice urges the participation of the pharmacy workforce in prehospital management of medications.

  • Examples of prehospital management of medications include emergency transport or facility transfers. Ensuring the pharmacy workforce is involved in this process would optimize medication use and patient safety.

Posted June 3, 2024

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