I was able to attend ASCP's legislative fly-in last week and I thought I would use the forum to share my experience. I'm not sure how involved you all are with policy and advocacy at your local or national levels but until last week I would say my experience/exposure was quite limited.
I was able to meet with the 3 representatives from Connecticut (Larson, Bleumenthal, and Lieberman) and also a representative of Harry Reid (Senate Majority leader). The Policy & Advocacy group did an outstanding job of putting together materials and talking points to prepare the participants for their scheduled meetings. I was able to meet with Representative Larson in person and the chief staff members of the three other senators.
The purpose of the fly-In was to discuss:
1. What is a consultant/senior care pharmacist & what value can they provide
2. Discuss the benefits of MTM
3. Discuss the Nurse-as-agent issue (delays in controlled substance administration due to regulatory barriers in the nursing home
I also used this opportunity to discuss a bill that’s probably near and dear to all of our hearts, S.48 Pharmacist Student loan repayment and inclusion. For the most part everyone was very receptive and provided great feedback. The loan repayment bill was also well received and at least from my representatives seems like it has a good shot.
Overall the experience was extremely gratifying and yet still surprising. It’s amazing how many of our elected officials have no idea what pharmacists can offer and our role in the healthcare setting.
With that I’ll end my rant for the day… If you can, get involved and keep an eye out for the next ASCP legislative fly-in!