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ONE OF THE HALLMARKS of the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy (ASAP), in addition to its pioneering work in setting the reporting standard for prescription drug monitoring programs, is that it holds two conferences each year — one in January and the other in June.

The content of these conferences plays primarily to how technology is the springboard for helping pharmacists better manage the financial, operational, marketing, and clinical aspects of a pharmacy. In addition are topics that cover legislative initiatives and other developments that can influence the future direction of technology applications.

Let’s take a look at the program content for the upcoming ASAP annual conference in mid-January (Jan. 24 and 25) to see what I mean. One topic will cover the current and future application of artificial intelligence. This is an area that is certain to improve decision-making. The current state of compounding is another area that will be discussed. Next-generation data metrics for pharmacy comparisons is something that needs to be understood and is also on the program.

The Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan venture has received a lot of press on how it will upend the insurance industry’s grip on healthcare. Will it succeed? What is the likely outcome here, and how does this play out for pharmacy? This too is on the agenda in January. And every year there is an update from IQVIA on pharmaceutical trends, issues, and forecast — a component of the program that has always been well received for the insights provided.

E-prescribing has transformed how prescriptions are “written,” but accuracy is still an issue with these prescriptions. You will hear what is being done to improve accuracy and how is it being measured. This is something that should be important to every pharmacist.

That gives you the flavor. Now you may ask, where is this conference being held? The location will be The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island in South Carolina, with close proximity to Charleston.

There is one other benefit for pharmacy owners in attending. You get to meet and talk to the senior-level people from the various companies providing technology applications for pharmacy.

You can see the program in its entirety by going to asapnet.org. The registration form and hotel information are also available at the website.

I serve as executive director of ASAP and am pleased to say that the conferences have always been enjoyed by all who attend. You might want to give one a try. CT