Dear colleagues and friends of Missouri Pharmacy:
A few days ago was my “Pharmacist of the Day” in Jefferson City with the MPA staff. The goal, as it is with each of us who will devote only a little time and effort with our Association, is to help improve, introduce or change bills or other legislative efforts which can affect pharmacy practice in Missouri. This might include any broad or narrow influence such as Medicaid and its drug or pharmacy practice regulations and guidelines; Medicare expansion and financing; reimbursement for clinical counseling and/or patient screening practices; collaborative arrangements and agreements with medical doctors and other health professionals; Board of Pharmacy laws and regulations on any pharmacy practice subject including licensing and renewal of pharmacist and pharmacy permits; compounding or other specialty practice activities; and any other legislative efforts to change our profession, generate income from pharmacy practice and the tasks now undertaken in our pharmacies.
In my experience of visiting the Capitol building to speak to legislators about current, pending or future subjects which have or may come up for their consideration, the two trips I have made to Jefferson City for the purpose of educating the representatives and senators were pleasant and non-threatening, and simple to carry out. At every step of the day, from the beginning at the MPA building for a group session to review topics which may come up for discussion, to talking with my own districts’ elected officials for handling appointments when needed, transportation to the Capitol building, locating offices or meeting rooms, introductions when needed, and the educational comments and hand-outs for my representatives and some other key members of both houses, our MPA executives were there with me at every minute. We also attended a committee meeting or two that were open to the public.
It was a good program, and my legislators and the others to whom I visited with staff assistance, was rewarding and, I believe productive. I followed up with each legislator by email and received very kind and positive replies for the visit. I encourage every Missouri pharmacist to participate in the Pharmacist for the Day program and to have a positive and supporting relationship with our legislators, as their knowledge and votes will affect our economic, behavioral and health professional status and image as our society and our profession explore the future together. I wish you all, each one, all the best in life within our profession.
C. Patrick Tharp, Ph.D., R.Ph.
The Melling Group
Pharmacists Preventing Suicides(c)
St. Charles, MO