Above: U.S. Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA) on stage at ThoughtSpot 2018 in Orlando, FL.
Last year, during ThoughtSpot 2017, AmerisourceBergen (ABC) hosted an engaging Advocacy in Action panel
, featuring U.S. Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA) as the key panelist. Congressman Collins represents the 9th Congressional District of Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a national thought leader on reimbursement issues impacting patients, community pharmacists and all sites of pharmacy. ABC and Good Neighbor Pharmacy
(GNP) received positive feedback about the panel last year and several requests for the Congressman to be the keynote speaker during General Session at ThoughtSpot 2018.
Devoted to patients and awareness of pharmacy issues including PBM transparency, DIR fees, and MAC pricing, Congressman Collins returned to ThoughtSpot 2018 on July 20th as the keynote speaker during general session
. He delivered a powerful, passionate address about the importance of community pharmacists’ involvement in the legislative and advocacy process. He truly spoke from the heart describing how he was inspired by his own family and his own community pharmacist in Georgia to become a voice for pharmacists and patients to ensure fair and transparent legislation and regulations. Click here to watch now!
He also encouraged everyone in the crowd to get to know their federal and state legislators so elected officials can become better educated to support and advance pro-pharmacy legislation. Congressman Collins encouraged letters and calls to support legislation but also noted that it’s more than sending a letter alone – he encouraged the audience to invite their Member of Congress to meet with them; call their office and get to know their staff; take time to meet with legislators when they are home in their district or state. There are many ways you can be an advocate. If we don’t work together to educate lawmakers about issues, they will never know what a DIR fee is and will not be able to help. As health care providers, pharmacists are experts and need to make time to explain key issues you are facing every day.
Advocacy in Action
Congressman Collins’ keynote speech is already inspiring pharmacists and associates to take action – true action to start building relationships with federal and state legislators. After general session, the ABC Government Affairs team received positive feedback from many pharmacists and associates at the government affairs kiosk. Notably, one of our customers, Lisa Kocian from Athens, TX, asked to meet with her Congressional office the following week!
Right: Lisa Kocian, PharmD – Pharmacist in Athens, TX – Met with Congressman Jeb Hensarling’s (R-TX) Office on Friday, July 27.
Following ThoughtSpot, Lisa visited Washington, D.C. with her son, and she and Beth Mitchell from ABC's Government Affairs team met with the office of Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). Lisa explained issues like DIR fees and gag clauses impacting her patients and her pharmacy. She asked for Congressman Hensarling’s co-sponsorship and support of H.R. 1038 and H.R. 5958. Lisa and Beth also stopped by Congressman Collins’ office to thank him for his passion and work to help patients and pharmacy.
Please take time to watch the video of Congressman Collins’ address during ThoughtSpot 2018. You will be inspired! Our collaborative advocacy and persistence are continuing to see positive change!