Back the PAC
Rep. Charlie Crist (D–FL) meets with APhA–ASP members on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of advocacy and civic engagement.
In order to create the change we desire in the pharmacy profession, pharmacists need to learn from the past and commit to the future. Over the years, significant developments in practice have created both highs and lows for pharmacists; however, what has remained constant is the dedication of APhA and its members to advancing the intent and principles of the profession. One effective tool in the advocacy kit is the APhA Political Action Committee (APhA–PAC), which contributes to candidates for federal office who have demonstrated support for pharmacy issues and recognize the value of pharmacists in the health care system. Each year this committee relies on the backing and involvement of APhA members to achieve its goals.
Through leveraging the APhA–PAC, legislators have been educated on important issues such as DIR fee reform and provider status. Supporting the APhA–PAC has allowed pharmacists’ collective voice to be heard on Capitol Hill, increasing our impact on patient care, pharmacy services, and the continued growth of the profession.
A fun opportunity to get involved
As future health care leaders, it is vitally important for all APhA members to engage in advocacy efforts. Every year the APhA–PAC holds the Back the PAC Campaign as a way for student members to get involved in efforts to promote and protect the profession. This year, the campaign will launch on January 13 and conclude on March 13, 1 week before the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition, March 20–23, 2020, in National Harbor, MD. Learn more at https://apha.us/BackThePAC.
Over the past several years, enthusiasm and participation in the Back the PAC Campaign has grown significantly. It is a widely recognized, fun way for pharmacy schools across the nation to engage in a friendly competition to raise funds to support the PAC and allows all APhA–ASP members to become PAC contributors, investing in their profession’s future. This campaign also helps educate APhA–ASP Chapter members on the importance of advocacy in pharmacy. Each school is assigned a division based on its size—A, AA, or AAA. The winners of each division as well as an overall winning chapter are recognized and receive a prize during the Annual Meeting Awards ceremony. Many schools have found creative ways to raise funds, including throwing pies at professors, bake sales, and paint nights. Whatever the idea, one thing has united them all—the common goal of making a difference.
This is our year
Getting involved this year has never been more important. As the pharmacy landscape is changing, it is critical that our united voices are heard and that we get involved in the decision-making process.
The profession needs you! Pick up a pie, a brush, or take whatever means necessary to support APhA–PAC this season. We can make the difference, so let this be our year.
Andrea McDonald is a final-year PharmD candidate at the Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy and the 2019–20 APhA–ASP Speaker of the House, and Mary-Ryan Douglass is APhA Associate Director, Grassroots Advocacy & PAC in Washington, DC.