Making an impact
Advocacy for the community pharmacy industry and the advancement of the profession is a big part of the job at Drug Store News. That said, this has been a busy month even by our standards.
In March, DSN published the fourth edition of RxImpact, a special stand-alone report that we produce to help educate lawmakers about the ever-expanding role community pharmacy plays in our nation’s healthcare system. The issues are stuffed into kits that National Association of Chain Drug Store members leave behind with members of Congress, during desk-side meetings that are organized by NACDS. In addition, DSN ensures that every member of the Senate and the House of Representatives — as well as key House staffers — is hand-delivered a copy of RxImpact.
Why? We want them to understand your story.
If you missed RxImpact, the digital version is available at www.drugstorenews.com/rx-impact-march-2015. When a reporter or a politician, or anyone, wants to know more about what community pharmacy can do — and is doing — to improve affordability and access to health care, give them a copy.
But RxImpact is not the only thing DSN does by way of advocacy work. It is an ongoing fight to tell the story of community pharmacy to people outside of the industry, who, nonetheless make decisions everyday that dramatically impact your business.
Sometimes these issues are about patient rights. Like the work DSN has done to help raise awareness among lawmakers and the news media about the other side of the prescription drug abuse story in America — the problem created by new DEA regulations that make it difficult for honest patients battling chronic pain to access the medications they need to live their lives.
To help set the record straight here, DSN sent an op-ed to The Hill, which it published April 14 (http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/ healthcare/238656-complex-pain-med-prob-lems-demand-holistic-coverage-action). In it, I argue for the passage of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act (S. 483/H.R. 471), which would create a seat at the table for community pharmacy and other important stakeholders with drug enforcement and health agencies to create a better solution than the current DEA regulations.
Our work here didn’t just begin overnight. A year ago, DSN created a special microsite at www.drugstorenews.com/pain-management to help give a face to the honest patients who had become victims of flawed policy.
Advocacy — telling your story — is a big part of the job at DSN. And it’s a job we take very seriously.