The Story: Print and radio ads debuted in the D.C. market this week promoting provider status legislation—H.R. 592/S. 314, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act. The ads, created by the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition (PAPCC), emphasize access to healthcare for seniors in urban areas. Listen to one of the radio ads here.

…if there ever was a time in your career for you to actually write your congressmen, this is it.

Subsequent ads will focus on rural areas and other aspects of the medically underserved. NACDS is a steering committee member of the PAPCC, whose primary goal is to promote legislation that would expand access and payment for Medicare Part B services by state-licensed pharmacists in medically-underserved communities.

What’s the message?

The message of the ads is clear—and simple. An elderly man is sitting at a bus stop and a question looms over him, “Where can he turn for help?” The response is, “Seniors can turn to pharmacists for healthcare services including the management of chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease; health tests, such as glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure; and immunizations.”

How did the ads come about?

The PAPCC conducted extensive research and led focus groups on messaging, and the ability of pharmacy to meet healthcare access challenges emerged as a strong selling point to emphasize the essential role pharmacy plays in access to care for medically underserved patients. The print ads build on a digital ad campaign that began running on a host of diverse websites in May frequented by lawmakers and staff.

The upshot?

These prominently and strategically placed ads bring a high level of visibility to the issue of expanding patient access to pharmacist-provided services for patients in medically underserved population. They tell a story about bridging a gap in healthcare that lawmakers need to know.

What can I do?

NACDS RxIMPACT has made it easy for advocates to write their representatives using links that will allow you to write your senator or congressman—or both—on this important issue. Dierberg’s Director of Pharmacy Greg Guenther, R.Ph., felt so strongly about the issue, he wrote his entire team an email urging them to participate in the grassroots letter writing campaign. Guenther wrote, “…if there ever was a time in your career for you to actually write your congressmen, this is it.”