APRIL 10, 2015
Jeremiah Glass (right),
TSSP Member at Large, with Rep. Berry Doss.
TPA Services Cannot Be Replaced
by Jeremiah Glass, 2016 PharmD Candidate, UT
TSSP Member at Large; TPA Intern
Ever since 1884, the Tennessee Pharmacists Association has protected and advanced the profession of pharmacy by being the connection between policy and practice. Dr. Micah Cost has recently become the executive director, and I had the opportunity to be one of his first two students this past February. On this rotation, I was able to meet with many Senators and Representatives to discuss current bills that will affect pharmacy practice and our patients’ quality of healthcare. As I write this, there is legislation pertaining to a pharmacy drug disposal program, criminal punishments for pharmacy robberies, tax exemption for diabetic testing supplies, and biosimilar generics among others.
These bills are all targeted to improve the quality of health care for Tennessee residents by their purpose, but sometimes parties involved can have other objectives to achieve by using specific language. Luckily for our patients, the Association has been working closely with the Tennessee Medical Association on many fronts to focus first on improving the health care system.
During my month with the TPA, I have observed what great quality and necessary services pharmacists like Dr. Micah Cost, Dr. Baeteena Black, and many other active members of the association provide in directing our state senators and representatives toward improving patient care and expanding the role of pharmacy. When people who are not pharmacists develop bills that primarily affect pharmacy practice, the language put forth can end up harming or limiting our practice or the care we can offer as healthcare providers. This is why it is imperative to be active members of the state association protecting your, and your patients’, best interests.
An exciting opportunity for pharmacists is currently being discussed between the Board of Pharmacy, Board of Medical Examiners, and the Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners is the Collaborative Practice Act. With help from the TPA, the rules for the law passed last year are being developed to guide physicians and pharmacists in creating a collaborative pharmacy practice agreement. The boards have met twice, and each meeting has brought us closer to allowing awesome new innovative practices developed together by physicians and pharmacists to offer whatever services they decide on! This will lead to more comprehensive and proper drug and non-drug therapy, which will improve patient care and expand the role of the pharmacist.
On this rotation, I learned about the role of the Tennessee Pharmacists Association as our state representative of the practice of pharmacy. Without new champions of pharmacy like Dr. Micah Cost, all of the progress of his predecessors and colleagues could be undone very quickly. The services provided by the TPA cannot be replaced, which is why it is very important to continue being a member of the Association. Being a member means you believe in expanding the role of pharmacists for the benefit of the patients, our practice, and the state of Tennessee.