Alabama Pharmacy Association Hosts Legislative Advocacy Day for Students

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – Hundreds of pharmacy students from Auburn and Samford University traveled to Montgomery for the Alabama Pharmacy Associations Student Legislative Luncheon on Wednesday.

Pursuing a career as a pharmacist was an easy choice for Will Kendrick, a third-year student at Auburn University’s Harrison College of Pharmacy.

“My godmother was a pharmacist. The people who were pharmacists in my life, I really appreciated the impact they had on my life, and I wanted to be able to have the same impact,” Kendrick said.

It’s a similar story for Laurel Uhomba who is in her third year at Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy.

“We do so many things, especially in my school, to serve the people,” Uhomba said.

Kendrick, Uhomba and hundreds of pharmacy students took to the Capitol lawn for the Alabama Pharmacy Association Student Legislative Luncheon. Pharmacists have played an important role during the COVID-19 pandemic and on Wednesday, students helped defend Senate Bill 307 and House Bill 402. During the pandemic, the federal government gave pharmacists the power to prescribe vaccines without an annual standing prescription from a doctor. These two bills seek to make that permanent.

“So usually we have a standing order from a doctor which is administrative in nature, but we have to renew it every year. During COVID, the federal government allowed us as pharmacists to prescribe vaccines for children, flu, COVID, COVID therapies. We are looking to make this permanent in Alabama and eliminate this administrative burden,” said Bobby Giles, director of government affairs for the Alabama Pharmacy Association. “As long as patients need a pharmacist, we will continue to fight to serve our people.”

Governor Kay Ivey hopes they will continue to serve people here in Alabama. Addressing the students, she urged them to stay here.

“You are all pharmacy students, you are the future of healthcare today, I encourage you to stay in Alabama after you graduate,” Ivey said.

A pharmacist from our state has helped administer nearly 6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine here in Alabama.

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