ACVP Proposal to Expand Definition of “Patient” Approved by APhA House of Delegates
Inclusion of “non-human species” acknowledges pharmacists’ wider scope of care

The APhA House of Delegates approved a proposal on March 15 from new member ACVP to recognize the ability of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to provide care for animals as well as people. ACVP was approved in 2020 and was represented at the House of Delegates Session earlier this week by delegates Gigi Davidson, a past president of ACVP, and current ACVP Vice-President Brenda Jensen.

The motion calls for the adoption, by pharmacy organizations and regulatory and professional entities, of the expanded definition for patient to include human or non-human species.

“The pharmacy profession is in a unique position in that it is the only healthcare profession that is legally allowed, and expected by society, to provide pharmaceutical care for all species,” said Gigi Davidson. “For this reason, ACVP feels it is critical that APhA define “patient” in the inclusive terms that describe all of our patients.”

In addition, ACVP hopes this change will raise awareness of the need for more extensive veterinary pharmacotherapy education for student pharmacists. The expanded definition of patient may have benefits outside of the classroom with the potential development of additional resources and clinical decision-making software to support pharmacy professionals serving non-human patients.

“Almost all pharmacists will be asked to provide for animal patients at some point in their careers,” Davidson added. “ACVP is grateful to APhA for recognizing the value of giving voice to this unique specialty. We look forward to working with APhA delegates to strengthen support for veterinary pharmacy practice.”