Students take part in Pharmacy Day at the Legislature

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Eighty West Virginia University School of Pharmacy students will travel to the State Capitol on Monday, March 7, to advocate for their profession during Pharmacy Day at the Legislature. The goal for the student pharmacists is to discuss the revisions and updates to the Pharmacy Practice Act, which is in review this legislative session.

A practice act defines how a certain profession can practice in the state and outlines all laws and regulations that must be followed for that profession. Each year the legislature asks different boards in the state to review their practice act to keep the laws current.

“We are fortunate as students to be able to give our input on the way we will practice as future pharmacists,” second-year student pharmacist Kristin Showen said.  “It’s great to see so many WVU pharmacy students taking an interest in this important matter.”

Changes to the Practice Act have been proposed by the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy, with input from the WVU School of Pharmacy and University of Charleston, and will be introduced as House Bill 2513. There has not been an update to the Practice Act since pharmacy schools have changed from a bachelor’s degree to a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree — approximately a decade ago. The advanced Pharm.D. degree provides more clinical knowledge and training, making the need to expand the scope of pharmacy practice as stated in the current West Virginia Code even more important.

Students will meet with legislators and talk to them about the important changes that are proposed, including allowing trained and certified pharmacy students to provide immunizations.

“Allowing student pharmacists to provide immunizations will give us the experience we need to provide this service to our community members after we graduate,” Showen said. “This will help increase the number of immunizing pharmacists in our communities, and it will also make it easier and more convenient for patients to get these immunizations.”

The WVU student pharmacists will also provide health screenings during Pharmacy Day at the Legislature in the lobby of the State Capitol. Screenings will include blood glucose testing, blood pressure screenings and bone density screenings.

“We hope that through educating our legislators about the types of healthcare services pharmacists offer to the members of our community, the proposed changes pass so pharmacists can provide the best healthcare to West Virginians who need it,” Showen added.

For more information: Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192
ks/an: 03-01-11