By Michael Rule, Manager of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy
As noted in a recent Executive Update (link available to NCPA members only) Congress has left Washington D.C. for its annual August Recess. During this period most Members of Congress will spend a significant portion of their time in district meeting with constituents. This presents a tremendous opportunity for pharmacists to meet with their legislators and educate them on the importance of small business independent community pharmacy to patients and the overall community. In fact, more than 25 members of Congress have already scheduled pharmacy visits for during this recess.
Your voices and your stories are critical for Members of Congress to fully understand the role you play and the challenges you face. You have an important story to tell. You may have received a phone call after hours from a patient who needed medication right away and you made arrangements to fill it. You may have played a role in delivering medications after a disaster. But, as NCPA Second Vice President Brian Caswell noted during the 2012 Capitol Hill rally, if that story is never told then that story never happened.
For many pharmacists, there are several opportunities during this recess period to tell your story. NCPA has compiled resources to assist pharmacists in making the most out of this in district work period. You can find tips on arranging a meeting with your Member of Congress in their district office or on how to invite the member to tour your pharmacy here. Additionally, this being an election year, many members will have public events such as a townhall or a “meet the candidate” forum where you can raise issues of importance and tell your story. To guide you, you can access talking points on priority legislation here.
August recess is a wonderful opportunity to educate elected officials on what you do. So please make the most of it and get active.