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UHCOP AMCP Chapter Takes 2nd Place in National Chapter Challenge for Advocacy Work, Among Select Few Invited to Leadership Academy

The UHCOP Chapter of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy's advocacy work led it to second place in the national AMCP Chapter Challenge at the AMCP Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy 2018 Annual Meeting April 23-26 in Boston.  

The AMCP Chapter Challenge is designed to allow students to engage with AMCP on a national level with the national organization's policy issues as well as become educated and managed-care policies and barriers that may affect students in their future practice. This year's challenge revolved around advocating for the Pharmaceutical Information Exchange (PIE) Act (H.R. 2026), which the authors and proponents say would allow manufacturers to proactively share certain clinical and economic information with decision makers on emerging therapies in advance of Food and Drug Administration approval, an area currently restricted by federal law and FDA regulation.

"The criteria for the chapter challenge required chapters to submit a Chapter Leadership Academy advocacy project proposal, submit letters to Congress to engage them with the PIE Act, and tweet members of Congress advocating for the PIE Act," said chapter president Kim Dinh. "The chapters who involved the largest percentage of their chapter in these efforts placed in the competition."

The UHCOP chapter won second place in the challenge and received $100 as a prize. 

In addition, the UHCOP chapter was one of only five invited to participate in the national organization's Chapter Leadership Academy (CLA). Designed to equip AMCP members and advisors with tools and best practices to improve their chapter's experiences, the theme of this year's CLA was "This is Advocacy."

The session focused on what, why, and how advocacy makes a difference in managed care pharmacy. Numerous chapters submitted advocacy project proposals and only 5 schools out of the nation are selected to present their project at the CLA. UH AMCP was selected as one of the panelists and was able to share their project with other chapter leaders.

"The project we presented was the Legislative Series which is a three-part collaborative event among AMCP, the National Community Pharmacists Association, Student National Pharmacists Association, and American Pharmacists Association," Dinh said. "Each organization invites speakers or designs presentations regarding advocacy and pharmacy-related legislative matters. Specifically, our AMCP legislative co-chairs, Elissa Chin and Hafeez Adewusi, gave presentations on bills concerning Abuse Deterrent Formulations and MedSync program regulations."

As one of the smaller student chapters in AMCP, Dinh said qualifying for the invitation was a big boost for its national recognition.

"UH AMCP benefited greatly from our involvement in the CLA as it helped us gain ideas and tools to better advocate for our profession," she said. "Our accomplishments at this conference have really helped us garner attention and allows us to grow into a stronger and more well-rounded chapter."

Third-year student Angelica Asadi presented a research poster for her project, "A motivational interviewing elective for pharmacy students: a student perspective," which gauged the viewpoints of students participating in a medication adherence project based on motivational interviewing (MI) techniques. According to the study results, while students encountered obstacles in reaching or enrolling patients in the study group, they nonetheless found the MI training to be beneficial to their future roles in patient counseling. 

Coauthors of the abstract were UHCOP Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy (PHOP) Ph.D. student Aisha Vadhariya, PHOP faculty members and study sponsors Marc Fleming, Ph.D., MPH, R.Ph., and Susan Abughosh, Ph.D., and UHCOP alumnus Omar Serna, Pharm.D. ('08), BCACP, clinical operations manager for CareAllies.