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MCW Pharmacy Students Advocate for Pharmacy Policy Efforts at State Capitol

MCW pharmacy students advocate for pharmacy policy efforts at State Capitol

Students from the MCW School of Pharmacy joined a group of more than 280 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy students who participated in the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW) 2024 Legislative Day. The annual event includes an educational session to learn about Wisconsin pharmacy policy efforts, plus tips for meeting with legislators and staffers.

“What I learned from Legislative Day was the importance of advocating for our profession so that we can create equitable access to healthcare for patients,” said first-year pharmacy student Rickie Yang.

Students gained advocacy experience, meeting in small groups with their respective senators and state representatives to promote three pieces of legislation. One bill, which has passed in the Assembly but has not gone to the Senate floor, would expand access to oral and patch contraceptives by allowing pharmacists to independently prescribe these products. A second bill looks to reform polices surrounding pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Students encouraged legislators to bring the bill back next session, as it has only reached the public hearing stage in both houses. The final bill, which has passed in the Assembly but only reached the introductory phase in the Senate, proposes eliminating the requirement for pharmacists to take a law exam for licensure.

“I learned that it’s a lot easier to get in contact with your state legislators than you may think, and that having a conversation with them might change their viewpoint,” said Sukna Sawah, first-year pharmacy student.

“It was really cool to see the legislators as real people,” said Liliana Galvan, second-year pharmacy student. “While we may have been nervous to be there, the legislators and staffers were excited to have us and engaged in our conversation.”

Also at the Legislative Day event, second-year student Zoe Green was awarded the PSW Student Good Government Award, acknowledging her involvement in pursuing grassroots advocacy and policy changes at the MCW School of Pharmacy. Green serves as the vice president of policy and advocacy for MCW’s student PSW chapter and is also a member of the student Legislative Action in Wisconsin Committee. She has been active in many pharmacy law and advocacy activities over the past year.

Zoe Green awarded the PSW Student Good Government Award

"The best type of advocacy isn’t about who screams the loudest but rather who can listen and understand,” said Green. In March, Green will represent the MCW School of Pharmacy in advocating for the pharmacy profession at the national level during the National Association of Chain Drug Stores RXImpact Day in Washington D.C.