AdvocacyHow do we strategically position AACP to carry out its advocacy agenda to build recognition of our members’ contributions to the health of the public?
Successful advocacy is frequently a collaborative endeavor. Collaboration is dependent on a common set of values or expectations around a given issue. Those issues can be found at the local, state and national levels. AACP collaborates with dozens of organizations to carry common messages to local, state and national policy makers.
Participation in the Alliance for Pharmacist-Provided Patient Care is AACP’s longstanding collaboration with national pharmacy organizations to impact state-level changes and improve patient outcomes. The Alliance originally focused on building support among state legislators attending the National Conference for State Legislatures annual meeting for the development and passage of collaborative drug therapy management laws. Today, the success of the Alliance can be seen in the 40-plus states that now include this type of law in their pharmacy practice acts.
The Alliance continues to increase opportunities for patients and providers to benefit from greater partnerships with pharmacists. Included are efforts to help state legislators understand the role pharmacists can play in helping them grapple with the ever-increasing drug costs within state Medicaid programs.
During the past year, pharmacy faculty have continued to influence health and education through teaching, research and service. The influence of pharmacy faculty working with community partners is a strength of the Million Hearts “Team Up. Pressure Down.” program. Increasing the capacity of community-based pharmacists to consistently use evidence-based strategies such as those provided through this program can improve patient adherence to their blood pressure medications.
Determining how to move from medication adherence best practices to a standard of care, AACP initiated the Pioneer Challenge, which will provide insight into successful implementation strategies fostered by community-campus partnerships. Pharmacy faculty contributed countless hours of volunteer time through community events hosted by their students. They also shared research and knowledge to improve specific aspects of health and education policy, including quality measure development and evaluation, pain management guideline updates, contributions to Alzheimer’s disease curriculum development, and comments on a systematic review of the medication therapy management literature.
AACP, the NACDS Foundation, the American Medical Association, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the National Consumers League (NCL) sponsored a month-long outreach project in February, the Medication Adherence Team Challenge. Academic health profession student programs were challenged to implement creative solutions in their communities to raise awareness about the importance of patients taking their medications as prescribed by using materials from the NCL “Script Your Future” campaign. The Team Challenge engaged interdisciplinary student teams from pharmacy, medicine, nursing and other health professions. Select institutions will be recognized nationally in July 2013 for their efforts to tackle the problem of poor adherence.
AACP has worked with a number of other pharmacy organizations to improve care, improve heath and reduce costs through the involvement of pharmacists into evolving integrated healthcare delivery systems. Attention has focused on developing documents that will support reversing the omission of pharmacists and pharmacist services in Part B of Medicare. This omission, while not a significant concern when Medicare was established, may place Medicare beneficiaries at higher risk of adverse medication events, which can result in unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital admissions and readmissions due to increasingly complex medication regimens. The organizations are finalizing a principles document that will help guide discussions with policymakers about reversing the omission.
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