3 15 16 Legislative Days News Story

CPhA Holds its Annual San Gabriel Valley Regional Legislative Days at KGI

On Saturday, March 12, the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) held its second annual San Gabriel Valley Regional Legislative Days event at KGI. The event served as a forum to discuss important legislation and pharmacy issues and brought local business owners, legislators, pharmacists, consultants, technicians, and student pharmacists together. Local Assemblymembers Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) and Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) were both present and discussed the importance of grassroots advocacy efforts.

The event was also an opportunity for participants to advocate for pharmacy practice and learn more about patient access issues. Specific topics discussed included roundtable discussions on AB 2084 (Wood), Comprehensive Medication Management as a Medi-Cal Benefit, and AB 2050 (Steinorth), Prescription Refill Synchronization. Megan Maddox, policy and advocacy manager, CPhA, also presented on the current status of SB 493, which took effect January 1, 2014, and expanded the ability of pharmacists to collaborate with other members of the healthcare team.

Explaining the impact the CPhA hopes to have with this event, Maddox said: “The CPhA is pleased to have organized the San Gabriel Valley Regional Legislative Day with the KGI School of Pharmacy. This is an effort to bring together pharmacists and students to join our grassroots efforts to advocate for pharmacy practice and patient access issues to state legislators.”

Samit Shah, KGI School of Pharmacy assistant dean and chair of biopharmaceutical sciences and Sidney J. Weinberg, Jr. Professor, explained why Legislative Day was so important: “This event provided attendees a chance to learn about the status of SB 493 implementation, which under certain provisions, authorize licensed pharmacists to furnish certain medications and expands their scope of practice. In addition to this, the event also provided important information on newly sponsored legislation such as AB 2084, and AB 2050. AB 2084 establishes a comprehensive medication management (CMM) benefit for Medi-Cal beneficiaries and would improve patient outcomes and reduce costs in Medi-Cal. AB 2050 requires insurance plans to offer refill synchronization, which will improve medication adherence. Together, all of these topics allowed attendees to learn more about important issues within the pharmacy industry.”

Attendees also had the opportunity to learn more about the legislative process and grassroots advocacy and were given the tools they need in order to effectively advocate and lobby for the pharmacy profession to local elected officials in the state legislature.

Assemblymember Rodriguez emphasized the importance of the event. “Events such as the California Pharmacists Association’s Legislative Day are important to encourage civic participation,” said Rodriguez. “I enjoyed speaking to the group and sharing my story about how advocating for the cleanup of my local park eventually led me to Sacramento. Advocacy is important, and it was great to see so many pharmacists learning about how policymaking in Sacramento affects their profession.”

The event concluded with Assemblymember Rodriguez presenting the KGI CPhA-ASP Chapter with a certificate recognizing their outstanding grassroots advocacy efforts, commitment to promoting the health of all Californians and advancing the pharmacy profession. In attendance to accept this certificate of recognition from the California Legislature Assembly were School of Pharmacy students, Former President of the KGI CPhA-ASP Chapter, Rajan Vaidya, VP of Advocacy, Carolyn Woodside, and P1 student member, Danielle Tessier.

The San Gabriel Valley Pharmacists Association was also recognized for its involvement in pharmacy advocacy.

The event was part of the CPhA’s drive to expand its grassroots advocacy efforts, and is one of four regional one-day conferences in California.

View photos from Legislative Days event.