The Policy Priority Areas of AACP align with this mission: Advance pharmacy education, research, scholarship, practice and service, in partnership with members and stakeholders, to improve health for all.
HRSA Loan Repayment Program
- Currently, pharmacists are not eligible to participate in most of the National Health Service Corps Student Loan Repayment Program (LRP), which is open to certain healthcare providers in primary care clinics in a HRSA-approved service site in a Health Professionals Shortage Area.
- An exception is the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program (SUD Workforce LRP).
- Pharmacists are uniquely qualified to reduce clinical burdens and improve patient health in low resource settings. The inclusion of pharmacists in LRP would increase patient access to care and improve health outcomes.
Reauthorization of HRSA Title VII Programs
- The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, P.L. 111-148) reauthorized the health professions education and training programs that provide grants to health profession schools to improve diversity, distribution and address the supply of the healthcare workforce.
- HRSA VII programs require annual appropriations and are in constant risk of reduced or no funding.
- Reductions to HRSA Title VII programs endanger interprofessional education, which is crucial to preparing providers who are ready to deliver the coordinated team-based care essential to improving patient outcomes.
Pharmacy Closures (Reduction in Healthcare Access)
- Pharmacies provide access to health care in diverse communities across the United States. Research published in JAMA (April 2019) by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Pharmacy Fellow Dr. Dima Qato (University of Illinois at Chicago) concludes that pharmacy closures led to a significant drop in adherence to essential cardiovascular medications among older adults in the US.
- Certain pharmacy reimbursement practices (including direct and indirect reimbursement [DIR] fees) and conversion of health plans to open pharmacy networks contribute to pharmacy closures. Reformed CMS rules for pharmacy payments could help prevent these closures.
- Recognition of “pharmacy underserved areas” by HRSA, and the corresponding inclusion of pharmacies in federally qualified health centers, could also help maintain pharmacy services in areas of high need.
Federal support for scientific research
- Pharmacy schools engage in research across the drug discovery, development and delivery pipeline. Robust, stable funding for biomedical, behavioral, translational, health services and patient-centered outcomes research is imperative for treatments discovered at pharmacy schools to reach patients.
- To support and advance the best science and research in the public interest, scientific review and program management and rule-making and regulatory processes within federal agencies should be independent and evidence-based.
- Federal policies and procedures related to research should be developed with consideration of a range of stakeholder perspectives, including those of the research and patient communities. These policies should foster a collaborative and inclusive research ecosystem that welcomes researchers of all backgrounds from around the world.