Team Washington, from left to right: Brandy Seignemartin, Marci Reynolds, Billy Chow

Recently student pharmacist Brandy Seignemartin had the opportunity to participate in the annual National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) RxImpact Day in Washington D.C. RxImpact Day allows student pharmacists and other pharmacy advocates from across the nation to share critical patient access issues with legislators.

Seignemartin is a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate in the class of 2020 at the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences on the Washington State University (WSU) Health Sciences campus in Spokane, Wash. She currently serves as the vice president of legislative affairs for the Associated Students of WSU Health Sciences. When she completes her degree, Seignemartin hopes to become an innovator in pharmacy practice and policy. She has shown a devotion to advocacy through her participation not only in the RxImpact day but also Coug Day at the Capitol this past January.

Seignemartin shared some of her thoughts on her experience at RxImpact Day…

RxImpact Reflection

By: Brandy Seignemartin, Class of 2020

From left to right: Marci Reynolds, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Brandy Seignemartin

I had the great honor of being 1 of 56 pharmacy students from across the nation at NACDS RxImpact. Alongside approximately 400 professionals and industry leaders we had the great privilege of carrying the message of increasing patient access to care at community pharmacies to members of Congress from all 50 states. I was on Team Washington with Billy Chow, VP of Pharmacy at Bartell Drugs and Marci Reynolds, Pharmacy Practice Coordinator at QFC Pharmacies. Together, led by a D.C. based government affairs specialist we met with the offices of Senator Maria Cantwell, Representatives Denny Heck and Derek Kilmer while Representatives Suzan DelBene and Cathy McMorris Rodgers met with us personally due to our constituency in their districts.

We invited these legislators to tour pharmacies in their districts and discussed three main issues in regards to patient access. First being the urgency of direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) reform and drug cost transparency for patients, we asked legislators to sign onto a letter to CMS and most members we visited had already taken this action. The next issue we discussed was utilization of pharmacists to combat the opioid epidemic and asked to be added to the list of Medicare providers for opioid related care. We provided information in regard to the unique position of pharmacists in our communities to provide this care, improved patient outcomes with pharmacists as part of the team-based approach, and shared about the knowledge pharmacists possess to care for patients beyond the dispensing function. Finally, we asked our members of Congress to roll out federal measures to decrease opioid use disorder including: 7-day supply limits for acute pain, a nationwide prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), manufacturer sponsored mail-back envelopes, and mandatory e-prescribing of opioids.

Our messages were well received, but the work is not done. You don’t have to fly to D.C. to get involved in increasing patient access to community pharmacy care. Invite your legislators for a pharmacy tour in their home district or reach out NACDS RxImpact to find out how you can be involved in grassroots advocacy. It was a great privilege to represent the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Washington D.C. and carry this message of patient access for all pharmacies in Washington State.