Mary Keating and I are in Washington DC to attend the National Community Pharmacists Association annual Legislative Conference. For the fifth year in a row, we will be joining other pharmacists from the Connecticut Pharmacists Association to meet with our federal legislators. Tomorrow we have a very busy day meeting with senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, and representatives John Larson, Joe Courtney, Elizabeth Esty, and Rosa DeLauro. We will be discussing bills ensuring seniors access to local pharmacies and the importance of recognizing pharmacists as providers.
It's very important for us to be here and tell our personal stories of how we help our patients daily and how our loyal customers are forced to use other pharmacies or mail order against their wishes.
I had a situation last week where a man brought in a prescription that he was deathly allergic to. He wasn't feeling well and he didn't discuss his allergies with his doctor or with me. I remembered his allergy because we've discussed it in the past and it was noted in his profile, but had he gone to another pharmacy to fill his prescription it may not have been looked into and the results could have been fatal. He came back a few days later and thanked me profusely after he was feeling better and thought about what happened. He added, "this is why I wouldn't go to any other pharmacy!" In a perfect world the doctor would discuss allergies and a new pharmacist would as well, but in the real world of fast paced "get everything done in five minutes" it is not likely to happen. The importance of knowing your pharmacist is HUGE!
I always stress, when people are sad when forced to leave us that they need to contact their representatives and complain to their employers that pick these exclusive plans. I can't tell you how many loyal families we don't see anymore because of this unfortunate trend. Our representatives need to hear from patients as well as pharmacists.
Hopefully this year we will make a difference and things will change for the better! We are excited to be inspired by our colleagues from across the country and learn effective ways to be successful in our fight.
Thank you for being our loyal customers and friends! I will be tweeting our progress of our trip so feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeankeating2