How to follow up on Pharmacy Day 2019
submitted by Thomas Buckley, RPh, MPH, Chairperson
The Connecticut 2019 legislative session is in full swing, and CSHP has been actively monitoring hundreds of proposed bills and taking the legislative lead on two new pieces of legislation: HB 6543 “An Act Permitting Pharmacists to Prescribe Tobacco Cessation Products” and SB 921 “An Act Concerning the Scope of Practice of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (Section 28)”. Both of these bills are currently in the Public Health Committee, the public hearing for these bills occurred on March 4th, and we give great thanks to Stephanie Luon and Fei Wang for appearing in person to testify. In addition to Steph and Fei’s testimony, we had 10 people submit written testimony supporting these bills, which will greatly assist us in getting the bills passed out of committee. We still have an uphill road to climb however, so this is NOW your opportunity to contact your Representative and/or Senator to advocate for these 2 bills. This is especially true if your legislator is on the Public Health Committee. Click here to see the list Public Health Committee members and the towns they represent.
You can view all the testimony submitted for both of these bills on the Connecticut General Assembly website. The testimony for HB 6543 can be found here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CommDocTmyBillAllComm.asp?bill=HB-06543&doc_year=2019
The testimony for SB 921 can be found here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CommDocTmyBillAllComm.asp?bill=SB-00921&doc_year=2019
On March 7th, a very successful Pharmacy Day at the Capitol occurred as a result of a highly effective collaboration between CSHP, CPA, the CT Association of Community Pharmacies, the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (CT ASCP), and the schools of pharmacy at the University of Connecticut and the University of Saint Joseph. Pharmacy students managed blood pressure screening tables during the day, Governor Ned Lamont issued an official Proclamation declaring March 7 as Pharmacists Day in Connecticut, and the day concluded with one of the largest receptions ever organized in the LOB lobby, as pharmacists and students engaged legislators on the practice of pharmacy in Connecticut.
This is an exciting and very active period in the legislative world of pharmacy. Legislators need to hear from you if these initiatives will be successful in expanding pharmacy practice in our state. We have developed the tools for you to help communicate with your legislator. Please feel free to put your own “spin” on the conversation.
In addition to viewing the testimony submitted for these 2 bills, click for the “talking points” document we used at Pharmacy Day to discuss these bills with legislators. SB 921 is the overall scope of practice bill for APRNs, adding APRNs to our current collaborative practice law is in Section 28. Click here to view this language. HB 6543 would permit credentialed pharmacists (those that have completed relevant training) to prescribe tobacco cessation therapy. Click here to view the proposed language for this bill which is modeled after the current naloxone prescribing law.
We have two major points in our favor in advocating for these bills: (1) tobacco cessation is a very “hot” topic in Connecticut and the Public Health Committee this year; and (2) pharmacists have the ability to bridge the vast health disparities gap in this state because we are the most accessible health care provider. Prescribing tobacco cessation therapy and collaborating with APRNs to provide protocol-driven therapy are two major examples of how pharmacists can reach underserved patients in our state. These two initiatives will demonstrate yet another way pharmacists can provide cost-effective services in our state. Receiving reimbursement for these (and other) services is the next major step in the evolution of our profession – stay tuned for breakthrough efforts on this front!
Since 1948, the Connecticut Society of Health-System Pharmacists has represented the professional interests and provided professional development for CT pharmacists, educators and pharmacists in training.