Students March on Illinois State Capitol

Published on 20 March 2013

STLCOP student pharmacists joined their colleagues from schools of pharmacy in Illinois at the seventh annual Illinois Pharmacy Legislative Day on March 13 at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. The event was sponsored by the Illinois Pharmacists Association (IPhA) and the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP).

The day began in with a legislative orientation session in the Hoogland Center for the Arts.  STLCOP students listened intently as Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon gave sound advice on approaching legislators in the Capitol building.

After Simon spoke, Garth Reynolds ’00, executive director of IPhA, and Scott Meyers, executive director of ICHP, took the stage. They asked the student pharmacists in attendance to lobby against House Bill 2730-Pharmacy Practice-Lot Numbers, sponsored by Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock), and Senate Bill 1934-Pharmacy Practice-Biosimilars, sponsored by Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago).

HB2730 makes a very simple change to the Illinois Pharmacy Practice Act and prescription labeling, but, according to a handout provided by IPhA and ICHP, prescription labels must already contain a wealth of information: the name of the pharmacy, address of the pharmacy, date the prescription was filled, name of the patient, last name of the prescriber, directions for use of the medication prescribed, and quantity of the medication prescribed.

“As you can see, there’s not much room left for the manufacturer’s lot number,” the handout reads.

SB1934 creates special requirements for the interchange of biosimilar products that have not been implemented for other types of medications. According to the handout provided by IPhA and ICHP, “This bill is a premature attempt to regulate a drug product category that has not yet been defined by the United States Food and Drug Administration.”

The handout also calls the bill unnecessary and costly.

Following the legislative talking points discussion by Reynolds and Meyers, the student pharmacists were split into groups based on their voting districts. Reynolds led a handful of students, including several from STLCOP, on a tour of the Capitol. The group visited legislative offices, talking to several legislators about its opposition to SB1934 and HB2730.

The day wrapped up with a legislative reception at the Illinois State Library.

STLCOP student pharmacists said the event was informative and taught them a lot about the legislative process in Illinois.

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