Critical Issue #4

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Critical Issue #4 

Advocacy
How do we strategically position AACP to carry out its advocacy agenda to build recognition of our members’ contributions to the health of the public?

Keys to Successful Advocacy

Being a successful advocate is an act of self-promotion. Whether you are advocating for a change in public policy or for your personal benefit you can improve your chances of success with an IDEA.

Identify, Demonstrate, Evidence and Act = IDEA

  • Identify- the issue for which you are interested in building support (or opposition).
  • Demonstrate- your commitment to that issue by sharing actions you employ or activities in which you engage in that demonstrate the importance of that issue to you.
  • Evidence–List the current evidence-base that supports your actions or activities or suggests that these actions or activities lead to a given outcome.
  • Act–Take action! Find out what potential supporters know about your issue. Share your IDEA!

Script Your Future

In 2013, the National Consumers League (NCL) and its partners announced the awardees of the second annual Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge for health profession students.  Awardees were recognized at a NCL event in July 2013.  St. Louis College of Pharmacy, the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy and the University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences were each awarded a National Challenge Award.  Touro University, California-College of Pharmacy was awarded the Health Disparities, Under-represented Community Outreach Award, The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy was awarded the Chronic Condition Outreach Award and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy was awarded the Creative Inter-professional Team Event Award. 

AACP, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the American Medical Association, the American Pharmacists Association, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the National Consumers League (NCL) sponsored a month-long outreach project in February 2014 for the third annual Medication Adherence Team Challenge. Academic health profession student programs were again 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 September 2014 for their efforts to tackle the problem of poor adherence. 

Advocacy Update

The Affordable Care Act continues to influence the direction of the United States healthcare system. Evidence shows that healthcare costs are stabilizing and quality is improving. Much of that improvement in the quality of care is the result of greater attention to the millions of individuals that have one or more chronic illnesses and the medications they are prescribed. While there is improvement in the medication therapy management programs offered to Medicare beneficiaries through Medicare Part D plans maximizing MTM’s benefit across Medicare beneficiaries is the driving force behind AACP working with other national pharmacy organizations to ensure that pharmacist provided services are available to all Medicare beneficiaries.

The negative impact of poor medication management is finally making policymakers aware of the benefits of the inclusion of pharmacists on patient-care teams. A great example of that awareness is the guideline from the Community Preventive Services Taskforce that pharmacists are important team-members in managing hypertension. The activities of AACP members, including development of medication adverse event risk-scoring strategies, are regularly highlighted in Academic Pharmacy Now. AACP members continue to influence public policy as sought after participants in efforts such as the Million Hearts ™ program’s development of effective performance measures related to new lipid management guidelines.

Next: Critical Issue #5

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