White paper on expanding the role of pharmacists in caring for individuals with Alzheimer's disease

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the American Pharmacists Association








Alzheimer's disease; American Pharmacists Association Foundation; Family caregiver; Pharmacy services


Objective: The purpose of this initiative was to establish a Coordinating Council to Improve Collaboration in Supporting Patients with Alzheimer's Disease. The Council convened on March 5-6, 2008, in Washington, DC. The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation, in conjunction with leading national experts in Alzheimer's disease (AD), assessed the level of care and services currently provided by pharmacists to AD patients and developed this "blueprint document" for how they might be more effective in helping patients and family caregivers manage the burden of this devastating disease. Data source: A premeeting survey of Council members was conducted to elicit their perceptions regarding the needs and challenges facing AD patients and their family caregivers and to gain insights as to what roles pharmacists could and should be playing to help manage drug therapy and enhance the quality of life in patients with AD. Summary: AD is one of the most significant health crises that will be faced in the United States over the next 30 years. Currently, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the country. The findings of the Council confirmed that pharmacists are playing important roles in the management of AD but can expand these roles. Conclusion: Pharmacists are accessible, trusted, and respected resources. Increased pharmacist involvement in the care of individuals with AD could improve clinical outcomes and family caregiver quality of life. With the expected increase in the number of individuals diagnosed with AD, the resources and services to care for and support this population will be even further taxed. Innovative approaches for expanding pharmacist involvement in AD should be developed to maximize the difference pharmacists can make in the lives of those who suffer from the disease.