Several leading pharmaceutical companies have come together in support of Project Destiny, making a financial commitment to help develop a new vision for pharmacists' interactions with their patients and for community pharmacy's advancement of health care in the United States.

The contributing companies are sanofi-aventis, GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceuticals and Wyeth. Representatives of these five pharmacy industry leaders will join with representatives of three pharmacy associations on the Project Destiny Industry Advisory Committee.

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) announced the initiative last month. The end result of Project Destiny will be the development of a strategic plan that validates community pharmacy's future role in the delivery of health care as a valuable and integral component, which is accepted and recognized by patients, payers and policymakers for the patient care services that they deliver.

The associations selected BearingPoint to execute the initiative, which will position the pharmacist as the medication expert and the key provider of medication therapy management services to patients. Bearing Point's evaluation is nearly half-way completed.

"In the research thus far, we are encouraged by the market recognition that community pharmacists can play an important role in impacting health care outcomes, total health care system costs and consumer engagement in their health care through improved medication management," said Karla Anderson, managing director for BearingPoint's healthcare and life sciences practice.

Project Destiny will reinforce the role of the pharmacist as a key contributor to a patient's overall health and to substantial improvements in patient outcomes.

"Sanofi-aventis is a proud partner of the profession of pharmacy to enhance the quality of patient care. We remain convinced that pharmaceuticals are a 'best buy' in health care, and that value is optimized for patients - and payers - when pharmacists are engaged in management of therapies. Project Destiny will guide and accelerate the transition of pharmacy practice into a new model better aligned with the evolving needs of our health care system. We look forward to continuing our work together toward this goal," said Robert DeLuca, R.Ph., vice president of U.S. managed markets for sanofi-aventis.

"GlaxoSmithKline recognizes the critical role pharmacy plays in the delivery of quality health care to patients in the U.S. At the point of care, pharmacists will have to continue to educate, counsel and coordinate benefits for people managing a wide variety of illnesses. Done efficiently, overall healthcare costs will be reduced. We support Project Destiny as the blue print for even better patient care and outcomes," said Jack Fish, Channel Management and Pharmacy Solutions, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals.

"Our support of Project Destiny is based on our belief that the pharmacist should be part of the patient's overall health care plan, which includes patient, physician, health plan and employer. We believe that pharmacists play a critical role in providing patient care. This includes discussing the appropriate medication options with the patient including branded and generic pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter products that ensures optimal medication therapy outcomes," said Robert Belknap, executive director for Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.

"During this time of health care transformation, community pharmacists are on the right track in developing strategies for moving forward in providing improved patient care and medication use. Pfizer is proud to be a part of the Project Destiny team, working together towards a shared vision of community pharmacy," said Walter Slijepcevich, R.Ph., director of team leader, pharmacy development of Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceuticals.

The Project Destiny leadership team also recognizes Wyeth's involvement in the initiative, and its long-term support of community pharmacy and the role of the pharmacists in providing health care services.

About The American Pharmacists Association (APhA)

The American Pharmacists Association , founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, represents more than 60,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States.

About the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA)

The National Community Pharmacists Association , founded in 1898, represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 24,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines.