The mission of CPNP is to advance the reach and practice of psychiatric pharmacy and serve as the voice of the specialty. Our job is to work for the profession of psychiatric pharmacy to shape policy, influence legislation, and ensure favorable implementation of both. With limited staff, financial, and volunteer resources, we focus our efforts on federal legislative efforts. Obviously the profession and CPNP as an association are a small fish in a very big sea. Therefore our approach is not that dissimilar from the important role you play in your everyday roles as psychiatric pharmacist—we want to establish ourselves as the expert, go-to resource on the issues impacting treatment access for individuals living with mental illness, substance use, and neurologic disorders and be proactive in identifying opportunities for the profession. It is a big task but as a newer, part-time player in this arena, CPNP has been successful in laying some groundwork that is starting to bear fruit.
CPNP’s 2019 Health Policy Agenda
The CPNP Board recently approved the 2019 Health Policy Agenda which is a continuation of our 2018 efforts. With this agenda, CPNP seeks to be nimble in evaluating opportunities to influence the policymaking process and to target activities that would maximize our efforts while remaining true to the Health Policy Agenda and CPNP’s goals to advance the practice of our members. While CPNP will continue to advocate for payment for psychiatric pharmacists’ services, innovative models of care, and payment models which include psychiatric pharmacists on the health care team, we once again anticipate that our 2019 government affairs activities will be largely driven by Congress and the Administration’s agendas which will include a significant focus on drug pricing, with some attention also likely given to rural health and access to care issues.
An additional important role for CPNP is to influence the implementation of federal legislation. With the passage of the massive opioid bill in 2018 and any future legislation impacting the profession, CPNP will work to develop and/or initiate and foster relationships with agencies such as CMS and SAMHSA. Comment letters, one-on-one meetings, and cooperation with our coalition partners on areas of shared interest, are some of the methods we anticipate employing in 2019 and beyond.
Presenting a Larger Voice
CPNP has dived into coalition membership by joining important organizations such as the:
Through a unified, larger coalition voice, we can make an impact on issues that are important to the profession.
We are seeking seats at additional tables in 2019. The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) recently invited CPNP to apply to join their House of Delegates where we can advocate for favorable profession- wide policy statements. The US Pharmacopeia (USP) has also provided a path for CPNP to apply for membership as a Convention Member Organization. Members and their delegates participate in discussions on issues important to their constituents and carry out critical governance activities for USP.
There are literally hundreds of opportunities in any given year for CPNP to attend meetings, participate in a task force or work group, or listen to a briefing. With limited resources, we work to identify those where we will have the most to contribute. We anticipate some of 2018 efforts will continue to be fruitful in 2019 such as the Behavioral Health Prescriber Summit and Study we described in the September newsletter.
Promoting the Profession
To accompany our government affairs and policy outreach efforts, CPNP is investing in a previously announced public relations initiative intended to tell the story of the profession. The Professional Affairs Task Force is working with KidGlov, a marketing agency, to clearly communicate the role and value of psychiatric pharmacists on the health care team. The goal of the project is to illustrate the importance of psychiatric pharmacists through stories and statistics that simplify the complex role you play. We will be seeking information from you in the New Year in order for us to present statistics and information that best represents and describes the impact of the profession.
Work will also commence in 2019 to build off of CPNP’s 2015 paper on the value of psychiatric pharmacists and author additional white papers reinforcing further advances in the profession.
Proving our Value Everyday
Supplementing all of these efforts are the things you and CPNP do every day. It is important that the medical profession and policymakers know the impact you make in improving minds and lives every day. Measure your outcomes and publish your research in the PubMed indexed Mental Health Clinician (MHC). Keep innovating and expanding your impact and then turn around and tell us at CPNP through surveys or an email or brief narrative to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
CPNP, with your contributions as content contributors, intends to keep on producing quality education and recertification products as well as other tools and resources. We know that these services keep you on the cutting-edge as a pharmacy professional so that you can demonstrate your talents and make a difference as a member of the interprofessional treatment team. Additionally, we know these resources are shared, distributed and are impressing and educating your fellow health care colleagues inside of and outside of pharmacy.
Government affairs and policy is not a sprint, it’s a marathon with milestones achieved along the way. CPNP is driven by those milestones and looks forward to working alongside you to achieve them.