COP Students along with PBA Pharmacy Student meeting with the Legislative Aid of Sen. Bill Nelson (FL).

Miami, FL — Larkin College of Pharmacy students traveled to Capitol Hill during their Spring Break to join pharmacy students from across the country in taking part in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacist (ASHP) Student Advocate Training & Legislative Day.  Alexandra Angel, Lisy Jimenez, Nelly Ruiz, and Suki Lafortune represented Larkin in the two-day program geared towards providing students training and exposure in the advocacy for the pharmacy profession.

The first day the students were taught about the effort to gain provider status under the Senate Bill 109, “Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act” (S.109). The bill would amend title VXII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage under the Medicare program of pharmacist services.

On the second day, students then met with congressional staff to advocate for the legislative bill and obtain additional co-sponsors, which would grant provider status to pharmacists and give patients access to the valuable care pharmacists provide.

Participants gained valuable experience in professional advocacy, a critical but easily overlooked aspect of the pharmacy profession. It is vital for the pharmacy profession to have a seat at the table in the formulation of national health care policy to ensure that the unique skills and services that pharmacists offer are included in the future of health care.