In this episode you will learn the importance of advocacy, Standing up and delivering and if you are a pharmacist in California this is your challenge and rally cry to Walk The Walk on June 26th
“BE THE CHANGE”Gandhi
What You Will Learn:
- More details about the California Pharmacists Association and Californians for Access to Life Saving Medications Advocacy Day in Sacramento
- How legislators and staff listed to us and heard us
- Why Standing Up and Walking The Walk Matters
- The progress of SB 159 through the California Legislator and why this matters to pharmacists
About MichRx Pharmacist Consulting Services:
MichRx Pharmacist Consulting Services is a healthcare and training company providing state of the art Medication Therapy Management (MTM), Chronic Care Management (CCM) and telehealth consulting with a focus on HIV Care, resulting in improved patient outcomes and increased profits for our clients.
About Ubuntu Pharmacist Care Program:
The Ubuntu Pharmacist Care Program is a unique advanced practice MTM (Medication Therapy Management) CCM (Chronic Care Management)and DSM (Disease State Management) pharmacist consultation program of MichRx Pharmacist Consulting Services, Inc.
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This is Michelle Sherman, president of Michelle Rx Pharmacists Consulting services and your host for the conscious pharmacist podcast. A episode this week is called we stood up, we delivered, and we made a difference this post week. Um, this past Wednesday, June 26th was an extraordinary day legislatively and for advocates and for pharmacy here in the state of California.
This was the efficacy day for the California Pharmacists Association and Californians for access to life saving medicine. In previous episodes of talked about how important it is for us as pharmacists to get our voices to be heard, to stand up, to deliver, to make a difference. The only way we already get effective legislation changed and get people to listen to us is to do something about it. It makes no point to sit in your pharmacies complaining about the declining reimbursement and all the terrible things going on and whining and whining and whining. We need to stop that. Let’s be conscious people.
Let’s start being conscious in the way we operate our businesses every day. And the way we get our voices heard. Wednesday was extraordinary. Um, I flew out of San Diego to Sacramento, so it was up at 3:00 AM to take the flight out. So I didn’t miss one single minute, one single second of this very, very important day. And it was so enlightening to see about a hundred pharmacists and technicians and people who desperately not only care about the profession of pharmacy, but care about the patients showing up in Sacramento for this advocacy day. And we think when we think of the tens and thousands of pharmacists out there, we were just a drop in the bucket. For those of you who stayed home, who didn’t stand up or were too afraid to deliver, we did it. We did it for you.
The day was extraordinary. So the day we arrived in Sacramento in the day started up at will fit the Sheridan brand with, um, some introductions statements. And then we had this extraordinary press conference. Uh, I put a link to the youtube video at the bottom, um, of this podcast at the end of the transcript for you to watch the entire press conference. It was extraordinary. We had journalists there. There was, um, even a journalist from politico, the article, the, the information went out on political. So our efforts are getting widespread attention and we had, um, I’ll out John Roth from CPHI, uh, incoming president, Ken, Ken Thai, as well as, um, an assembly member, uh, and other organizations speaking at the press conference. So this, this is this Natick pricing and these medical clawbacks is something that is not only about pharmacists, it’s about all of us in California. It affects all Californians. It’s catastrophic.
The governor can change this. We were there to advocate and let our voices be heard. So the press conference was extraordinary. Um, we all wore a white coat and stood, stood behind the podium so that people could, you know, see us. And you can see it on the video. So I stress an urge. You watched this press conference at the end of this, on the blog post at the end of this podcast, and share it, share it with everybody you know, on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin so that people, we spreading the word people. We’ve got to utilize social media for our benefit. Spread the word, let people know of this egregious behavior going on here in California. And we’ll deal with all the other issues in PBM and everything in another episode. But after the press conference, um, we all went over to the State Capitol where we had appointments scheduled with legislators and this, this was amazing.
We were divided into groups and, um, I was, um, in this most amazing group with extraordinary pharmacists from Orange County. Um, who’d also again took, took the time to take the time to leave the families and the businesses to come up to Sacramento to make a difference, to stand up, to deliver and get our voices heard. So our appointments were first with assembly member Quality Petri Norris, who has the Huntington beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Newport beach, Laguna Woods in Laguna Beach district. Um, unfortunately this is a very, very busy time in the California legislature. Um, they builds these committees. There’s meetings going on. So we did not meet with, um, assembly member of Petri Norris, but we didn’t meet with, um, one of our staff members. And one of the things that was extraordinary about these meetings was that we’re immersed in the stuff like every day, fighting, fighting, fighting, riding that tsunami of all these clawbacks, all these bad reimbursements and nobody really knows what’s going on except us. So this was an extraordinary time where we were able to go and talk to these legislators and the staff members about what’s really going on. So we were talking about what’s going on with us and they didn’t really even know that any of this is going on. So it was very interesting because they were very sympathetic, very enlightened to take the information back to the assembly member and, you know, a group did an extraordinary job.
Um, I just want to give ’em a shout out to, to my group, um, to Ron Jordan, who’s the dean of Chapman University School of pharmacy. Same Lee Rafaella met mayor tweet new en tam fame. Um, also Jennifer [inaudible] and Kevin Kevin train who are in our group who were in our group advocating not only for pharmacists across the state and for patients across the state but especially for uh, medical patients here in Orange County. So we had a really good visit with, with assembly member Petri Norris, a staff member who was going to take this information back. We all talked about our patients, HIV patients, mental health patients and the devastating impact that this is having on our pharmacies where every prescription we feel for an HIV patient has a negative margin that we’re actually paying to fill prescriptions and take care of our patients. Doesn’t make any sense. Annexed, um, visit with, with um, assembly member Tyler deep whose area is Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, found Valley Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Rossmore, midway city and Santa Ana and assembly member deep.
We actually met with him, which was amazing. And he was totally sympathetic to our cause and to the cost of fixing medical and fixing these issues. And he asked us like, what could we do? I mean really the goal of meeting with all these people was to, for them to encourage Gavin, Gavin Newsom, our governor with the stroke of his pain to end the disagrees Natech formula the way it is now and the clawbacks until the pharmacist of California, CPHI and all the stakeholders that actually know what’s going on can actually come up with a beneficial formula and benefits. Everybody benefits the Department of Health Care Services, benefits pharmacies and most of all benefits the patients in California. So that is the reason why we met with all these people so they could encourage the governor to, to take a stand in, in this previous administration from Jerry Brown’s administration. Just eliminate that rule and let’s start again and come up with something that is good for all Californians.
So Assembly member deep what’s going to draft a letter, um, from the assembly and get all the assembly members, California assembly members to sign onto it and then present that to, um, governor Newsome. We also presented to govern and Houston’s office thousands and thousands of letters that people signed of why this is a bad thing, the naidoc pricing and the clawbacks and everything and um, presented the letters to his office that day. So it was a very beneficial meeting altogether. The third meeting we had was with Senator Tom Berg’s office and his staff member was amazing. He totally got it. He got what the issues were that were affecting us, affecting our patients and also trying to push the governor to try to change his mind on all of this.
I mean, it just doesn’t even make any sense. So the whole day all in all was very beneficial, made a huge difference. And um, you know, really realized the impact that this medical issue is having on pharmacies and on the health of Californians. 78% of independent pharmacies in California or considering no longer serving medical patients and 64% of independent pharmacies are considering closure. When we think of that, that is catastrophic to the state of California. We on the one hand govern in Houston. Here’s these extraordinary great ideas of making the medical program better, putting more people on medical, but how are we gonna put people, more people on Medi-Cal when they’re not going to be able to have access to prescription drugs because they’re not going to be any pharmacies to fill them. And let’s face it, the services that are provided by HIV, specialty community pharmacies, mental health services provided by independent community pharmacies, you can’t get these at the corner drugstore, the big store. It just doesn’t happen.
It just doesn’t happen. So just to, just to give you a little bit, um, of some clarification of just what this impact means. When we look at Los Angeles County, there’s 897 community pharmacies and these 51,487 people diagnosed with HIV and 38,305 people diagnosed with cancer. So when we look at that, those numbers just with HIV and cancer, just in La County, that’s like nearly 90,000 people that could potentially lose access to prescription drug coverage just in HIV and cancer. I mean those figures all just like it makes me not have any words. And when we think of La County, although we have managed Medicare and we have la care, the HIV services, as well as mental health services in La county or coffee out of La care and the pharmacies, actually bill medical for the HIV patients. So this clawback and these Maytag pricings or absolutely catastrophic, really devastating to the HIV community pharmacies in La County. Here in Orange County, we have 296 independent pharmacies. So we have about 7,300 people living with HIV and 13,400 almost um, people living with cancer.
Again, devastating to these people living in Orange County. And we can go through every county in the state, but I just wanted to highlight these two, especially La county and orange county had devastating, um, these clawbacks and this naidoc pricing is, um, to, to these patients. If you look at like San Diego County has 127 community pharmacies with 13,900 people living with HIV and 3,625 people living with cancer.
Again, devastatingly catastrophic to these patients. So I could go on and on and on and talk about this and break it down into every county in California. But I think you get the just, this is a catastrophic failure of the previous administration to actually look at what the snack pricing means and the clawbacks and how devastating it’s going to be. Not only to businesses such as pharmacies, but to the health of about 3 million Californians. It’s catastrophic. So we really at this day highlighted these massive issues and we cannot stop now. We’ve got to keep pushing it so that this whole thing ends. And we can come up with formulas that are fair to pharmacies who can’t get at least reimbursed for what they’re paid for, the drug and a little bit of profit to provide their services, extraordinary services we provide to patients and then also take care of our patients. There is the bottom line and the most important thing at the end of the day. So again, to all of you out there, watch, watch the the press conference that’s attached to this, this podcast. Share it with everybody.
Tweet about this podcast, send it out. They get everybody you know to to participate and use the Hashtag every way you go with Hashtag or ex fairness and Hashtag kill ledge c, a, l, e, g because the more we tweet, the more we push this out there on social media using those hashtags, the more the legislators will see this. I thank you all so much for listening to this podcast. We stood up, we delivered, we made a difference and so can you remember be the change.