NACDS RxIMPACT hosted its first NACDS RxIMPACT Training of the year—Magnify Your Advocacy Power as a Key Contact—for 200 pharmacy advocates at the Minnesota Pharmacists Association (MPhA) Legislative Day in St. Paul, Minn., this week.

study released by the Congressional Management Foundation this week emphasizes that active, informed and prepared grassroots advocates can make their voices heard in Congress and effectively influence legislators. The findings bolster the great work NACDS RxIMPACT program does in engaging, training and mobilizing pharmacy advocates—in Washington, and in congressional districts across the country.

The study’s research found that more than 90 percent of congressional staffers said that in-person visits from constituents have a sizable influence on lawmakers, including ones who are undecided on issues. The study also found that 91 percent of congressional staffers said including information about the local impact of legislation was very helpful and that it is important for advocates to be prepared with a specific ask from legislators. Staffers also emphasized that personal stories resonate extremely well with lawmakers.   Seventy-one percent of staffers said getting to know staff members with jurisdiction over their issue area was effective, and 62 percent recommended getting to know congressional staffers in the lawmakers’ in-district offices.

The NACDS RxIMPACT grassroots advocacy program has led the industry for years—providing just the kinds of platforms outlined in the study for grassroots advocates to successfully engage on behalf of pharmacy. NACDS RxIMPACT programs include RxIMPACT Pharmacy ToursNACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill, the RxIMPACT Training Program and RxIMPACT Votes. In addition the RxIMPACT U Academy provides training opportunities for pharmacy students to get a jumpstart on engaging with policy makers about important issues that will impact the future of their profession. And the NACDS RxIMPACT Key Contact program is designed specifically to build and foster ongoing relationships with members of Congress so key pharmacy legislative priorities are on their radar and they understand their importance.

The program’s signature event, NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill, is fast approaching—March 14-15—and last year participants met with 90 percent of congressional offices. Advocates are trained on the issues and what their specific ask for legislators is, and they are encouraged to convey to lawmakers, through personal stories, the role they play in providing affordable, accessible healthcare in communities across the country.

The engagement of pharmacy advocates is essential—especially in the rapidly changing world of healthcare—in communicating effectively with Congress about pro-patient, pro-pharmacy legislative priorities.  Register today for the NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill—your voice can make a difference in Washington, D.C.