Personal Essay: Reflection on the Advancement of the Profession of Pharmacy
The advancement of the U.S. health care system as a whole relies on individual health care professions to advance both individually and synergistically. Within pharmacy, adequate leadership is required to guide all pharmacists to create a uniform front against adversity and to advocate for the rights of pharmacists as a profession. Especially for a profession like pharmacy, a lot of our professionals either work behind the scenes or are restrained within a specific setting. More and more, we need fellow leaders with strengths for command and the ability to woo others to help provide the general public to become aware of pharmacy contributions and lead our profession through events like Day at the Dome to advocate for our rights.
Through the passionate speeches and inspiring panels on stage, we joined other pharmacists and student pharmacists in the state of Georgia and understood the importance of expanding pharmacists’ rights for immunization without prescription in our state, and the need for more transparency and predictability for MAC pricing from PBMs. It was there we met some of the pharmacists from GPhA who acted as the leadership in advocacy for our profession. They organized the Day at the Dome event, they provided educational material and discussed key issues for all of us who attended to understand the situation, and they led us to the Capitol to discuss our thoughts with our representatives.
From the provided material, I was surprised to learn that although Georgians are very much limited to quick access to primary physicians and six counties do not even have family physicians at all, we are still not able to administer vaccinations for preventable diseases with known vaccines without a prescription. This made me realize that pharmacy direly needs leaders to represent all pharmacists in order to both help expand the pharmacy profession and to provide primary care coverage for Georgians. Although we have had plenty of education and certification to perform vaccinations, we need to come together as a united front and fight for the right to use our knowledge and skillset to help the general public. Furthermore, I believe we should also unified and further advocate for our rights to make sure that there exist a checks-and-balance system with other health care professions, so the patients ultimately get the best care available.
I was less surprised to learn that MAC pricing from PBMs are not transparent, but I did not realize that they were so biased as to end up jeopardizing the welfare of local pharmacies. I believe this contradicts the idea of a healthy free market economy by creating and expanding small businesses by increasing competition. From the Day at the Dome, I realized that we must join together and protect our rights as health care professionals and small business owners against corporations that aim to increase profits without any social agenda. One of the best ways to preserve the independent pharmacy business and expand better competition in the market is to make information such as MAC pricing as transparent as possible. This is our right as business owners and