Case Study: Expanding Access to Affordable and Convenient Pharmacy-Based Immunizations

CLIENT: Rhode Island Community Pharmacy Association

ISSUE: In a rapidly changing health care environment, the Rhode Island Community Pharmacy Association (RICPhA) sought to communicate pharmacy’s role as critical members of the health care team. To that end, RICPhA engaged Advocacy Solutions to lead a proactive legislative campaign to significantly expand the state’s pharmacy-based immunization program by lowering the existing age limit from 18 to 9 years. Current law only allowed pharmacists to administer vaccines to adults.

CAMPAIGN: With active, would-be opponents concerned with this proposed expansion of pharmacists’ scope of service, Advocacy Solutions immediately took steps to dampen the opposition’s messaging. To communicate the importance of increasing access to affordable, convenient immunization services in a pharmacy setting, Advocacy Solutions:

  • Drafted legislation and identified House and Senate sponsors to lead the immunization campaign.
  • Coordinated outreach to appropriate House and Senate Committee Chairs and Leadership to communicate importance of legislation.
  • Recruited allies and partners to form a coalition in support of the immunization legislation. Advocacy Solutions communicated regularly with coalition partners to ensure efficient, coordinated efforts to advance legislation.
  • Developed and delivered formal written testimony, talking points, fact sheets, and presented oral testimony before relevant House and Senate Committees in support of the legislation.
  • Organized stakeholder meetings with all interested parties – including opposition – to address areas of disagreement and ensure a favorable legislative outcome.
  • Worked with key legislative and executive branch staff members to ensure the legislation made its way smoothly through the complicated legislative process.

RESULT: The Rhode Island General Assembly, with overwhelming bipartisan support, passed legislation allowing pharmacists to administer influenza vaccine to individuals between ages 9-18. This significant expansion of the state’s pharmacy-based immunization program will make it easier for Rhode Island families to receive vital immunizations.

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