Yesterday, ASHP members wrapped up a lively week of policy discussions, enthusiastic advocacy on Capitol Hill, and valuable networking during our annual Policy Week in Bethesda, Maryland.
The kickoff to ASHP's member-driven policymaking process, Policy Week features thought-provoking discussions on the profession's most pressing issues. Nearly 100 ASHP members serving on five policy-recommending councils and the Commission on Affiliate Relations spent two days discussing the uses and implications of artificial intelligence in pharmacy, formal education requirements for pharmacy technicians, pharmacists' role in mental/behavioral health, and viral vector therapies.
Policy Week is also home to ASHP's annual Legislative Day, an opportunity for members to share their experiences as patient care providers with their congressional representatives and build support for ASHP's top legislative priorities. Members met with more than 100 congressional offices and discussed critical services provided by the 340B Drug Pricing Program, the impact of drug shortages on patient care, and ways pharmacists improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of care.
“Policy Week serves as the foundation for ASHP's leadership in efforts to advance the profession and ensure that medication use in hospitals, health systems, ambulatory care clinics, and all patient care settings is optimal and safe,” said ASHP Chief Executive Officer Paul W. Abramowitz. “The professional policies and guidelines that result from this week represent the vast expertise and broad experiences of our members and inform our outreach to healthcare decision-makers like Congress, the Food and Drug Administration, The Joint Commission, and other stakeholders.”
Leaders from across the profession participate in Policy Week activities as observers to council discussions and as invited guests for the presentation of the William A. Zellmer Lecture and a formal dinner. Representatives from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, the Board of Pharmacy Specialties, Public Health Service, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, the Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration, ASHP state affiliates, and local colleges of pharmacy joined ASHP members throughout the week.
The ASHP President-elect appoints members to serve on councils and commissions. The nomination period for 2024 appointments is open through Nov. 15. To learn more about ASHP's policymaking process, watch the video How an Idea Becomes ASHP Policy.