Students Lobby for Bipartisan Change

Published on 16 April 2019

Determined. Inspired. Excited. These are just a few words to describe the feelings shared among attendees during the Missouri Pharmacy Association’s Legislative Day on Wednesday, March 27. This year’s event had a record-breaking turnout as more than 500 pharmacists and students traveled to Jefferson City, Missouri, to advocate for the profession of pharmacy.

St. Louis College of Pharmacy student pharmacists filed into the Missouri State Capitol, alongside fellow student pharmacists, pharmacists and lobbyists with a shared mission to encourage a bipartisan discussion centered around health care legislation.

“Laws that are passed have an effect on everyday people,” P1 student Mary Payne shared. “As a student pharmacist, it is my duty to lobby for the betterment of our patients.”

Legislators and guest speakers spoke about legislative topics within pharmacy such as the role of prescription drug monitoring programs in helping pharmacists prevent opioid abuse, the importance of regulating pharmacy benefit managers and changes related to the prescribing and dispensing of tobacco cessation products.

“It’s difficult for someone who is not embedded in the profession to understand what pharmacists can do,” P3 student Rachel Marchi said. “Talking to legislators about what we are witnessing is critical to advancing the profession. Our interactions with legislators help them to make informed decisions regarding our profession that benefit both pharmacists and the patients we serve.”

Attendees had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with politicians. Student pharmacists shared their thoughts and experiences with legislators on both sides of the aisle, advocating for change and educating lawmakers on the important role that pharmacists play in health care.

“To better serve our patients, it’s important to advocate for the profession today in order to protect it tomorrow,” P2 student Abigail Charlier said. “Participating in Legislative Day allows us to ensure that the future of our profession is headed in the right direction.”

To learn more about Legislative Day visit, stlcop.edu/community/outreach-and-advocacy-day.html.

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