President's Message - March 2011

by Carrie Sincak, ICHP President
April 21, 2011

by Carrie Sincak, ICHP President

“It’s not my job” or “it really doesn’t affect me” may be phrases that you have encountered in your professional career.  And have you ever worked with someone who complains or criticizes but then offers no solutions?  You may feel as though you are one of the few fighting the good fight.  

I am proud to say that was not the case in Springfield, IL at the 5th Annual ‘Under the Dome’ Pharmacy Legislative Day on March 16, 2011 as we collectively lobbied and educated our legislators on serious pharmacy and health care issues facing the state of Illinois.  Over 225 pharmacists, pharmacy students, and pharmacy technicians demonstrated our desire to advance our profession from a grassroots level.  

Senator Pam Althoff started off the day discussing the valuable input we can provide legislators by allowing them to hear what we think, gaining insight to those who will be affected, and providing further details to issues of which they were not well informed.  This was followed by a continuing education legislative orientation in which Scott Meyers, ICHP Executive Vice President and Mike Patton, IPhA Executive Director offered the group key talking points to discuss with their State Senators and Representatives.  The focus of the discussion was HB 2028, which is sponsored by Representative Dan Reitz and is intended to amend the Pharmacy Practice Act.  The amendment would define “pharmacist clinician”, “prescriptive authority”, and “appropriately trained”.  It would clearly define services a pharmacist may provide such as prescribing, modifying, or terminating medication therapy under written guidelines or protocols from a physician.  Others discussed were HB 2017 “Illinois Insurance Code”, which would create more stringent provisions concerning audits and HB 3090 “The Illinois Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act”, which addresses pharmaceutical waste and management.

It was great to see so many attendees converging at the Capitol to meet with their legislators.  Some also took part in touring the House and Senate as well as observing committee hearings.  Following the legislator visits, Randy Wells, the Department of Human Services Director of Legislative Affairs, presented a summary of the changes to the Illinois Controlled Substances Act and then answered questions from the audience.

The legislative reception was full to capacity at the State House Inn.  Many State Senators and Representatives, who were not available earlier in the day, were at the reception.  This provided another opportunity for their constituents to meet with them to discuss important bills.  It was a great way to network and relax after a long day of lobbying and education.  

New or modified health care and pharmacy bills are continuously being brought forth to the Capitol, and our Division of Government Affairs and lobbyist, Jim Owens, do a fantastic job keeping our organization on the forefront of pharmacy legislation and its impact on our health systems and profession.  Many of these bills, particularly the Pharmacy Practice Act, should stop one from taking the misguided “it doesn’t affect me” or “it’s not my job” attitude.  If you don’t quite believe me, then plan to attend Legislative Day next year.  If you are unable, please make a visit to your legislator in their home office to carry out the efforts on behalf of our profession.  

Thank you to all who attended this year’s Legislative Day.  This year was another resounding success! ΓΆβ€"Β 

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