The evolution of health care is impacted by advances in patient care, breakthroughs in technology and changes in legislation. These shifts present both challenges and opportunities for health care professionals. On March 16, 2017, Pacific’s Student Pharmacist Advocacy Coalition (SPAC) hosted the Pharmacy Legislative Dinner. During the event, speakers discussed recent legislation and what ramifications they will have on the pharmacy profession and on health care as a whole.
“The legislative dinner is a way to bring pharmacists, pharmacy students and policy makers together for an educational evening to discuss how current legislation is affecting our profession,” said Edward L. Rogan, PharmD, BCACP, assistant professor of pharmacy practice. “The Legislative Dinner is a great opportunity for students to get to meet current leaders in their field and see how advocacy works to benefit the profession and ultimately patients.”
“SPAC is a group of very dedicated, passionate and talented students who worked very hard to put together an excellent event,” Dr. Rogan explained. In attendance were students from University of the Pacific, Touro University California and California Northstate University College of Pharmacy. In addition to students, attendees included industry leaders, legislators, local officials, educators and practicing pharmacists.
SPAC Co-chair David Tran ’18 explained that the event had a dual purpose. “The Legislative Dinner provides an opportunity to learn about current legislation affecting the field of pharmacy, in addition to networking with fellow students, pharmacists and lawmakers involved in promoting the profession,” Tran said.
David Carranza ’19, SPAC co-chair, was motivated to be an advocate for the pharmacy profession by the address given by Lawrence Brown ’99, PharmD, past president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).
“Dr. Brown’s speech was a great inspiration to me to continue pursuing my passion as a student interested in government, legislation, regulation and association management,” Carranza said. “During his tenure as president of APhA, Dr. Brown was able to talk with influential lawmakers and regulators about how pharmacists can be best used to promote public health.”
Among the legislation discussed were Congressional Bills H.R.592 and S.314, which both pertain to the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, and California Assembly Bill AB-1114, which allows Medi-Cal to cover pharmacists’ services.
By Anne Marie H. Bergthold