RxImpact Pharmacy Day 2012

By Jennifer Clark, 2013 student pharmacist

In its fourth year, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) hosted approximately 300 pharmacists, pharmacy students, and pharmacy executives for RxImpact Pharmacy Day on Capitol Hill.  This two-day event kicked-off on March 21 with RxImpact U Academy, where students were provided an opportunity to learn about the pharmacy issues for the following day and the various etiquettes of meeting with legislators.

The main issues each of the teams discussed with their respective legislators were the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act (HR 891) or the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act (S 274), and the Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act of 2011 (HR 1971/S 1058).  HR 891 and S 274 open MTM services to Medicare Part D beneficiaries who have one chronic disease state.  In addition, both the House and Senate MTM bills allow the patients the opportunity to choose where they obtain their MTM services.  These bills provide a payment structure to pharmacies which are incorporated in performance measures for Medicare Part D plans based on time and resources used, and appropriate medication use. HR 1971 and S1058 protect neighborhood pharmacies and lower costs for patients. These bills help in providing transparency into the Pharmacy Benefit Manager’s (PBM) activities by requiring PBM’s to conduct fair and unobtrusive audits of pharmacies.

After the participants were well versed on the pharmacy topics of the day, teams from all over the U.S. met with legislators from their respective regions on March 22.  Of the two North Carolinian teams, North Carolina team 02 represented all three NC pharmacy schools with Jennifer Clark (team leader) representing Campbell University; Shawn Griffin, Kimberly Niver, and Michel Simon representing the University of North Carolina; and Jana Sigmon and Mark “Charlie” Yates representing Wingate University.  This all student team had the amazing opportunity to meet with Congressman Larry Kissell (NC 08), Congressman Mike McIntyre (NC 07), Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (NC 02), Congressman David Price (NC 04), and Senator Richard Burr and their respective staff members.

Jennifer’s thoughts: In my second year of participating in RxImpact, I had the distinct pleasure of serving as team leader for North Carolina Team 02.  Being selected as a team leader was an unbelievably rewarding experience.  It was great having all three pharmacy schools from North Carolina come together and collaborate for a common cause.  At each meeting, I felt that we were very successful working together as a team to deliver our message of support for vital pharmacy legislature.  Having the opportunity to participate in RxImpact has allowed me to be on the forefront of the advancement of pharmacy.  Pharmacists are constantly plagued with the public’s misconception that all we do is fill bottles with pills.  This was a great opportunity to inform legislators that we hold doctoral degrees and we are community health care providers.  This was also a great way for us to realize that if we don’t push for the advancement of pharmacy then no one will.

Photo copy: North Carolina Team 02 on Capitol Hill, representing all three NC pharmacy schools. Campbell University pharmacy student Jennifer Clark (fifth from left) served as the team leader during the event. Also pictured Shawn Griffin, Kimberly Niver, and Michel Simon from the University of North Carolina and Jana Sigmon and Mark Yates from Wingate University.