It is hard to believe that we are halfway through the year of 2022. I hope you were able to attend the California Pharmacists Association’s (CPhA’s) Western Pharmacy Exchange (WPE) in Las Vegas in April. The conference was a resounding success with over 700 attending and a sold-out exhibit hall.
We heard excellent feedback about the keynote address and the continuing education that was offered at WPE 2022. The primary reason our members attend is the opportunity to spend time with other pharmacy professionals. Over 92% of our attendees said they would recommend WPE to their colleagues. Please take this reccomendation and be sure to put WPE 2023 on your calendar, April 28–30 in Las Vegas at the Paris Hotel!
CPhA has also been very active at the California State Capitol working diligently to protect the profession of pharmacy from devastating Medi-Cal claw backs on medication reimbursements. We are grateful to both houses of the CA Legislature for including in their joint Budget Agreement full forgiveness of the $142 million that the State of California is seeking to recoup from Medi-Cal medication reimbursements to independent pharmacies. The budget still needs to be voted upon and then signed by Governor Newsom, but we are encouraged by the progress that has been made. We won’t know the final outcome until later in June.
CPhA has waged a three-year legal battle to keep the State from clawing back tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars from small business, independent pharmacies, that would result in crippling services to patients. Due to the work of CPhA and funding from independent owners, a court restraining order against the State has prevented the devastating claw backs from happening over the last three years. However, our legal efforts were concluded, and the case dismissed this Spring with the judge insisting on a legislative solution rather than a legal resolution.
In October of 2021, CPhA began working on a proposal to have full forgiveness of the recoupment included in the State Budget. We have spent the last nine months working to provide the rationale to legislative leaders for including forgiveness in the budget. While the State has a large budget surplus there is fierce competition to spend the surplus from countless sources. That CPhA has prevailed to get the full $142 million included thus far, is a testament to an increasing awareness and value attributed to the profession of pharmacy by the State Legislature. We are encouraged that leaders in the Capitol are responding to the message that it is essential to California’s patients for the infrastructure of independent pharmacy be preserved. With a unified voice we are together making a positive difference for the profession of pharmacy.