WSU Applebaum students promote the power of policymaking and civic engagement
Submitted by the WSU Up to Us team
The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Science Commons was filled with students from a range of health care disciplines for a fun and educational event highlighting the power of policymaking and the importance of civic engagement. The event was organized by the college’s chapter of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) and the WSU Up to Us team, comprised of members of the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO).
Attendees were treated to pizza while learning about the policymaking process from APhA-ASP Vice President of Policy Mirna Eshaya and Students Collaborating on Policy and Advocacy Chairman Thomas Whaley. Topics touched on everything from Robert’s Rules of Parliamentary Procedure to the recent legislative priorities put forth by the Michigan Pharmacists Association and the Michigan Pharmacy Political Action Council.
At the state level, these priorities include pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) transparency, the advancement of pharmacy practice, fair pharmacy reimbursement, and addressing issues like workplace environment and the opioid epidemic.
Federal-level legislative priorities covered were support for national efforts to limit the inappropriate use of direct and indirect renumeration (DIR) fees as a method of recouping dollars from pharmacies after a claim has been adjudicated, improving the frequency of updates to drug pricing standards, expanding upon Medicare’s Any Willing Pharmacy provisions and increasing transparency requirements for PBMs, and working with national organizations and pharmacy stakeholders to support access of pharmacy services to patients through the recognition of pharmacists as providers under Medicare Part B.
The WSU Up to Us team continued the conversation on the importance of policy and why voting and civic engagement matter.
“The Up to Us competition is a national leadership development program that aims to increase the public's awareness and understanding of the United States' fiscal and economic challenges. Our team is spreading awareness about the growing national debt and how it impacts the lives of our generation and generations to come,” said Daniyal Nasir, who is a second-year pharmacy student and part of the WSU Up to Us team. “The debt is already over $31 trillion and there are many components that affect it. For this event, we are focusing on health care spending as a major driver of the national debt. Through our advocacy, we want to expose inefficiencies of the health care system and how good policy can correct it. It is important to reach out to legislators and inform them of the issues that are important to us as future pharmacists, not just as it pertains to our profession, but to advocate for policies that will benefit our patients and do the most good for the health of the American people.”
Nasir and his teammates held a letter-writing workshop for those in attendance. These letters encouraged legislators to champion policies supporting the responsible use of government funds to improve the U.S. health care system and advocating for patients and the profession of pharmacy.
APIA-Vote MI was also present at the event to help attendees register to vote and inform them about key issues on the ballot for the upcoming midterm elections happening on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
“It's important for us to be engaged in advocacy efforts so that we can all work together to keep patients healthy and safe,” said Nasir. “Having a voice and advocating allows us to share our opinions on key pharmacy issues, form relationships with legislators that could lead to future successes, and ensure that we can continue providing safe and effective patient care.”
The Doctor of Pharmacy program at Wayne State University is a four-year curriculum in the heart of Detroit. Approximately 100 students are enrolled in each year of the program. WSU Applebaum information meetings for prospective students take place at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. The application process for the Doctor of Pharmacy program begins each July.
An anchor in urban health care
The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels – from undergraduates to veteran faculty members – translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 25,000 students.