Pharmacist Ashok Pinnamaraju possesses more than a decade of experience in the field. The former part-owner of Lexcare Pharmacy, he now owns Williamson Road Pharmacy in Virginia. Ashok Pinnamaraju belongs to such organizations as the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP).
A multi-stakeholder forum focused on improving patient safety and decreasing costs, NCPDP maintains several programs and initiatives, including EDvocacy. This initiative was created to promote the NCPDP and to demonstrate the importance of sharing information among industry professionals through its many forums. Although EDvocacy was not officially established until 2013, the initiative has been informally operating at NCPDP for several years.
EDvocacy bases much of its work on educating industry associations, policy makers, government agencies, and health care organizations about how NCPDP promotes the development of sustainable solutions to industry challenges and improves overall patient care standards. The initiative accomplishes this by meeting routinely with industry leaders and policy makers to introduce and reinforce the successes of the organization. Unlike many other initiatives that promote organizations, NCPDP’s wide reach means that EDvocacy addresses nearly every stakeholder group within the pharmacy and health care systems.
The owner of Williamson Road Pharmacy in Virginia, Ashok Pinnamaraju has worked as a pharmacist for more than 10 years. Holding a master’s degree in computer science and a PhD in pharmacy, he began his career as a pharmacy intern at Walgreens in Minnesota and subsequently owned Lexcare Pharmacy and Floyd Pharmacy. Over the years, Ashok Pinnamaraju has become known for his high-quality customer service.
Many individuals think that pharmacists just fill bottles, but they actually play an important role in the overall care of patients. Below are four characteristics and qualities of great pharmacists:
1. Good memory: Working with prescription drugs requires a strong understanding of each drug’s interactions, side effects, and nomenclature. Since there are so many drugs and potential pairings, great pharmacists must have a good memory to retain knowledge of the drugs they handle.
2. Caring: For many patients, caring translates into a pharmacist being friendly and attentive while filling their prescriptions. Great pharmacists are capable of building an alliance with each patient and making them feel comfortable enough to ask any questions about their medication.
3. Educated: Not only do great pharmacists possess a strong education relating to the field, but they are also dedicated to continuing their education. This ensures they stay up to date on all the new changes and drugs in the industry and allows them to better serve their patients.
4. Detail-oriented: Pharmacists must pay extremely close attention to the nuances of a patient’s medical history to avoid giving them medication that could have dangerous side-effects. Accomplishing this requires that pharmacy professionals are extremely detail-oriented and organized in their work.
Starting his career as a pharmacy intern at Walgreens in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ashok Pinnamaraju later rose to the rank of pharmacy manager. He then became a co-owner of Lexcare Pharmacy in Lexington, Virginia, before eventually owning Williamson Road Pharmacy in Roanoke. Ashok Pinnamaraju keeps up-to-date with the latest developments in his field as a member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).
The country’s first and largest association of pharmacists, with over 64,000 members, APhA launched in August 2017 a new Leadership360 Institute. This program is intended to equip pharmacists with the management skills required in their industry. Participants can enroll in any of the three leadership tracks.
The Lead360 track enables participants to examine their interests, strengths, and values, as they engage in a committed approach to leadership and life in general. Through the Mentor360 track, newer pharmacists have the chance to connect with leaders in the field and learn from them. Finally, the Manage360 track, which will commence in early 2018, includes a series of online management training sessions.