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APhA2023 and pharmacy on the rise
Michelle Powell 1333

APhA2023 and pharmacy on the rise

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Association Perspective

Ilisa BG Bernstein, PharmD, JD, FAPhA

This year’s annual meeting was a resounding success. Over 3,500 attendees gathered together at APhA2023 in Phoenix in March to connect, learn, and explore. We connected with familiar faces and formed new friendships, mingling with current and emerging leaders of pharmacy. Our days were packed with sessions and events, meetings, and social gatherings.

Talk about inspiring! I’m always energized and uplifted by our annual meetings, and APhA2023 was no different. Though the very apt theme of this meeting was “In the Face of Adversity, We Rise!,” the word of the meeting was “energy!” Everyone I spoke with said that they could feel a heightened level of energy around the meeting. APhA and our members never missed a beat and rode that wave of energy to rise up for our patients and our profession.

We got right back to work advocating for our patients and our profession.

The evidence is clear: Patients rely on pharmacists to access essential health services, including vaccines, testing, and treatments, and to protect themselves.

While we contributed to keeping America’s seniors and other vulnerable communities healthy through a pandemic, pharmacists continue to operate on a fragile foundation of temporary authorities that were put in place in response to COVID-19, and access for these patient care services at pharmacies is temporary for our nation’s seniors because pharmacists are not considered providers under Medicare.

While we applaud HHS for extending PREP Act authorities for pharmacy personnel, we still need Congress to pass H.R. 1770, the Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act (ECAPS), to establish a permanent payment pathway for these services under Medicare Part B. Championed by Reps. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), and Doris Matsui (D-CA), the bipartisan ECAPS legislation would make permanent the temporary authorities to provide essential pharmacist services to protect seniors from the threat of COVID-19, influenza, and other infectious diseases.

Join us in ensuring our nation’s seniors continue to have access to these vital pharmacist-provided patient care services. Please visit apha.us/ECAPS for an easy way to urge your congressional representatives to support H.R. 1770.

Looking forward to seeing you in Orlando for APhA2024 and celebrating our successes together! ■

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