August 1, 2013
This is how it’s done. On Monday, July 29, Wayne Bradshaw, constituent representative for Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), toured the Harmon City, Inc., pharmacy in Roy, Utah. Director of Pharmacy Greg Jones was ready with real time examples and, best of all, a patient who could provide compelling anecdotal evidence about the ways her community pharmacy has been a reliable and accessible mainstay in her busy life.
Jones introduced Bradshaw to the patient, a woman with seven adopted children. The patient underscored how invaluable the pharmacy team has been to her as she navigates caring for her children, many of whom have special needs that require prescription medications. She said easy access to the pharmacy team—seven days a week with late hours—was a plus, and she praised the pharmacists for assisting her with detangling complicated insurance issues and educating her about medications. She shared a resonant story about how one of the pharmacists spotted an adverse drug reaction among one of her children’s medications, which likely saved the life of her child.
Bradshaw engaged with the patient and asked her to explain the comparison between hearing about medications at her doctor’s office versus at the pharmacy. She said the pharmacists were always up-to-speed on which medications were covered by insurance and they were also helpful in resolving supply chain issues for her.
Jones also reviewed House supply chain legislation (H.R. 1919) with Bradshaw and explained that while Harmon City, Inc., supports legislative measures to strengthen the supply chain, there are concerns about a dispenser provision that would require pharmacists to pull lot numbers and manufacture ship dates out of paper drug sales documents. Pharmacies receive daily multiple drug shipments and billions of individual drug product packages each year—all accompanied by paper transactions. This requirement, Jones explained, could cause an administrative burden that might impede pharmacists’ ability to focus on their main goal of providing efficient patient care.
Real stories made this pharmacy tour not only effective in terms of getting across legislative priorities, but also meaningful on a personal level. Congress exists to represent its constituents and on Monday, two constituents put a face and a name to why it’s essential to support pro-pharmacy, pro-patient legislation.