Fuller has been instrumental in establishing collaborative practice agreements that enable pharmacists to practice to the top of their license in Washington state
Congratulations to University of Washington School of Pharmacy alumnus, Tim Fuller, ’69, who has been named this year’s UW Pharmacy Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award Pharmacy Practice recipient.
After graduating from the UWSOP in 1969, Tim spent three years in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) completing a residency at the USPHS Hospital in San Francisco and two years in the Indian Health Service (IHS). In his USPHS Hospital residency he implemented a hospital IV admixture service and in the IHS by implementing a pharmacist prescribing of prescription refills program and by training a Native American pharmacy technician.
In his Master’s degree program and residency at The Ohio State University, Tim administered medications to patients, served as primary instructor for an undergraduate pharmacy class at the College of Pharmacy, and conducted a novel “Comparison of Pharmacist and Physician Antibiotic” thesis for which he received two national grants. Tim went on to serve as an Infectious Disease Clinical Pharmacist and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Maryland. He taught undergraduate pharmacy students at Maryland and was recognized as the Clinical Teacher of the Year by the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
In 1975, Tim returned to the University of Washington School of Pharmacy as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and a year later he became the Coordinator for Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Washington Medical Center Pharmacy. He taught undergraduate courses, supervised student clerkships, developed new courses with other faculty, chaired faculty committees (for example, the hiring of John Horn and Dale Christensen), chaired the Master’s theses for five graduate students, regularly made presentations in the community, and drafted the first Doctor of Pharmacy proposal.
In 1980 Tim left the UW faculty to become the Director of Pharmacy and Administrative Director for the Seattle Poison Center at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. While there, he developed and implemented a pediatric pharmacy computer system, implemented an Operating Room Pharmacy and a children’s pediatric drug formulary, decentralized the pharmacy staff to patient care areas, established a pharmacy internship program whose graduates were highly sought after, and much more.
In 1992, Tim became the first Pharmacist Consultant for the Washington State Board of Pharmacy. The position provided him the opportunity to make many contributions to the practice of pharmacy, notably providing regulatory advice and guidance to hundreds of pharmacists, many other health professionals, organizations, industry, and associations. He worked with Board of Pharmacy members to establish a process to develop regulations for pharmacy technicians, automated drug development devices (Pyxis), and electronic prescriptions.
Very importantly, Tim was instrumental in the process to create collaborative drug therapy agreements and has been recognized as the “Father of Pharmacist Collaborative Drug Therapy.” He began with a study of the 60 prescriptive authority protocols that were filed in the Board of Pharmacy office, showing an overwhelmingly positive response by physicians and pharmacists to pharmacist prescribing in collaboration with physicians. Tim worked with pharmacists to expand this practice and renamed the activity collaborative drug therapy agreements.
In 1995, he worked with Rod Shafer, Executive Director of the Washington State Pharmacy Association, to develop a program for pharmacists to prescribe and administer immunizations—a step that would revolutionize pharmacy practice in the United States. His book, The Handbook of Collaborative Drug Therapy, provided templates for pharmacists to develop several different collaborative drug therapy agreements. As a result, the number of collaborative practice agreements on file with the Board of Pharmacy grew substantially.
In 1997, Tim was approached by a representative of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) about pharmacists prescribing emergency contraception (EC) to prevent unwanted pregnancies. He worked with PATH on a successful $500,000 grant request and then with WSPA to train pharmacists and an interdisciplinary committee to develop a standardized collaborative EC agreement. A second group of community leaders, including current Governor Jay Inslee, assisted with public education about EC and the pharmacist prescribing project. The Puget Sound program that was developed was the first U.S. effort by PATH, an international organization.
Tim formed Timothy S. Fuller & Associates to respond to the demand in pharmacy practice for information about collaborative drug therapy. Washington state was the only state where pharmacists could prescribe a wide range of medications, including controlled substances. Tim and his colleagues received a Plein Endowed Research Fund Grant for compiling collaborative drug therapy agreement teaching materials.
Recently, Washington, D.C. joined the forty-nine states that have legally authorized prescribing for pharmacists. The American Medical Association has endorsed a policy supporting pharmacist collaborative agreements. In 2017 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an extensive clinical practice guide that promotes collaborative drug therapy management called Creating Community-Clinical Linkages Between Community Pharmacists and Physicians. The CDC and the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) have produced a continuing education program on collaborative practice agreements.
In addition, Tim worked with Department of Health Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response team to establish statewide drug caches, to develop a pandemic influenza collaborative drug therapy agreement, and to educate emergency health personnel across Washington state on distributing medications in during a bioterrorism event. He also worked with Seattle King County Public Health and the King County Healthcare Coalition “Methadone Group” on the emergency preparedness for medication distribution.
Tim’s leadership was recognized nationally when he was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacist for his contributions of pharmacy practice. His publications have been cited over 500 times according to ResearchGate. In Washington state, Tim was recognized by state pharmacy professional organizations with two leadership awards, a distinguished service award, and as Pharmacist of the Year. He served as President of the Washington State Society of Health-System Pharmacists (WSSHP) and he led the successful effort to combine WSSHP and the Washington State Pharmacy Association to provide more resources for the state pharmacy professional association.
Tim has served as a member of the UW Pharmacy Alumni Association Board and for many years assisted with pharmacy alumni functions, as well as serving on the School of Pharmacy Admissions Committee. At the Washington State Board of Pharmacy, he established a pharmacy externship program that precepted students, UW and WSU, for 15 years. He has served as a Joint Course Instructor and as a lab leader, for many years and provides guest lectures in the Law & Ethics class.