Advocacy Toolkit

In today’s dynamic healthcare environment, independent community pharmacists cannot sit idle waiting for policy changes to impact their business. To continue to do what they do best, providing quality patient care in the vitally important community setting, pharmacists need to become advocates for their profession.

Important issues including access to patients, fair reimbursement and provider status for pharmacists are all currently being considered by legislative and regulatory bodies. By raising your voice and educating policy makers on your role as a health care provider in the community, you can educate lawmakers on these key issues—issues that are imperative to the long-term viability of community pharmacy.

If you haven’t done it before, advocacy might be intimidating.  It doesn’t need to be. We've put together the ABCs of Advocacy to help you get started.


The ABCs of Advocacy

From federal laws and agency regulations to state legislation and board of pharmacy rules, virtually every aspect of what a pharmacist can and cannot do as a healthcare professional is in some way decided by our elected officials and government entities. The question is, how can pharmacists play a role in deciding the policies and laws that will regulate the future of their pharmacy practices? This Advocacy Toolkit is designed to give you a thorough understanding of how to get started, and includes information on how you can build relationships with your elected officials, and advocate for policies and laws that will advance the profession of pharmacy by educating decision makers on key pharmacy issues. The Advocacy Toolkit also provides resources you need to identify your legislators, stay current on critical issues impacting your patients and your pharmacy business, a conversation guide, as well as helpful do's and don'ts. The ABCs include:

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oiv_advocacylist_0917_thumbnail_500OIV_ABCs Advocacy_AAdvocacy Tips

Independent community pharmacists can follow these 7 tips to raise their collective voice and influence policy makers.

1. Set achievable goals: Plan to reach out to members of Congress twice a year
2. Send letters to your congressional leaders: Drop a line, or two, regarding issues that matter most to you and your business
3. Invite members of Congress to your pharmacy: Have them meet you staff and begin to build a relationship
4. Share how your pharmacy is part of the healthcare ecosystem: Help legislators understand what you do
5. Attend community events: Get involved locally and be politically active
6. Get to know your state representatives: Make a lasting connection and get to know them on a first name basis
7. Connect with other community pharmacists and community members: Work together and inspire others to get involved


Download the Advocacy Poster


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Building Relationships Roadmap


Strong, personal relationships are the best way to influence legislative decision-making. To help you get started in this process, here are some suggestions for building relationships with your elected officials and getting your voice heard. For more detailed information, visit our How to Build Effective Relationships with Your Elected Officials resource page.

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1. Find your legislator: Use a legislator look-up tool, like the Find Your Legislators page of this website, to identify your state and federal reps
2. Send an introductory letter or email
3. Look for opportunities to meet with your legislators in person
4. Invite your legislator to tour your pharmacy or practice site
5. Engage your state and national pharmacy associations
6. Participate in "Day at the Capitol" events
7. Be a resource/pharmacy expert for your legislator
8. Consider offering campaign support
10. Make an ongoing commitment: It takes time to continue to develop relationships with your elected officials

Download the Relationship Roadmap

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Conversation Guide


Whether you’re having a conversation, making a phone call, writing an email or sending a letter to your legislators, use this conversation guide to help you get started.
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Download the Conversation Guide

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Do's and Don'ts


Below are some helpful guidelines to reference when meeting with your elected official and/or their staff members. Find more detailed information on our Advocacy Do's and Don'ts resource page. 

Let's start with the Do's:

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And now for the Don'ts:

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Download the Advocacy Do's and Don'ts

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Resources


Use these resources to stay up to date on state and federal issues that may affect your pharmacy, locate your state pharmacy association and take action.
 

Our Independent
Voice


At AmerisourceBergen, we strongly believe in the power of the voice of the independent pharmacy, and the importance of working together to champion your role as a health care provider in your community that we created a dedicated advocacy website, OurIndependentVoice.com.


What Is Advocacy?

Advocacy Do's and Don’ts

Building Relationships with Your Elected Officials

Top Issues 

Find Your Legislators

News

Take Action

Additional Resources
 

National Community Pharmacy Association
(NCPA)


National Community Pharmacy Association represents America’s community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,000 pharmacies.


Advocacy Resources

Federal Issues

State Issues

State-Specific Community Pharmacy Impact Fact Sheets


American Pharmacists Association (APhA)

The American Pharmacists Association inspires, innovates and creates opportunities for members and pharmacists worldwide to optimize medication use and health for all.




Advocacy Resources

Pharmacy Today

News


National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA)
 


The National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations is dedicated to enhancing the success of state pharmacy associations in their efforts to advance the profession of pharmacy.

State Associations

Resources

Federal Policy

State Policy


Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition (PAPCC)

The Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition is working to enact federal legislation to enhance access to care for Medicare beneficiaries in underserved communities. 

Legislative Information

News & Updates


Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC)

Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition is a non-profit advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. dedicated to representing the exclusive legislative and regulatory interests of independent Long Term Care (LTC) pharmacies and the vulnerable patients they serve, an increasing number of which are rehabilitation-oriented.


Policy Priorities

Policy News
 


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It's Time to Take Action

You've done your homework. Now its time to put your knowledge to work! Visit the Take Action page to lend your voice to important causes impacting your patients and your pharmacy business. You can even invite elected officials to visit your pharmacy, which is the best way to show them how you take care of your patients and your impact on your local community!

Still Have Questions? 

Click here to contact the AmerisourceBergen Government Affairs Team. 


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