e) NIH - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the nation’s medical research agency— making important discoveries that improve health and save lives. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) coordinates the National Cancer Program, conducts and supports cancer research, trains physicians and scientists, and disseminates information about cancer detection, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, control, palliative care, and survivorship. Under the NCI is the Office of Regulatory Affairs, which serves as a conduit between NCI and the cancer advocacy community. www.nih.gov www.cancer.gov State & Local Level Agencies a) Department of Health/Human services – Your state health departments are a part of the government which focuses on healthcare issues important to citizens of your state. For example, the Departments of Public Health were responsible for the promotion of the flu vaccine, in that everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated. To locate and learn about your state health department, visit: www.statelocalgov. net/50states-health.cfm To locate and learn about your county health department, visit: http://www.naccho.org/ resources/lhd-directory b) Drug Utilization Review Boards – Within each state’s health department, states are required to have a drug utilization review board or program that reviews and approves medications for patients. DUR boards may also require educational material be made available to patients on certain medications. c) State Health Insurance Commissioner – the regulatory agency that oversees insurance within each state. All 50 states have State Insurance Commissioners, and they are true advocates for the people
living within their state. They help enforce state insurance laws. With the onset of the ACA, state insurance commissioners can play a role in instituting the healthcare reform as it applies to their state. To find the contact information for your state’s health insurance commissioner, visit: www.naic. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is a standard- setting and regulatory support organization. These state regulators work through NAIC to establish standards and best practices and to coordinate regulatory oversight. org/documents/members_membershiplist. pdf d) State Medical Board – responsible for the licensing and regulation of all physicians within their state. To locate your State Medical Board, visit: www.fsmb.org e) StateBoardof Pharmacy – responsible for the licensing and registration of all pharmacies and pharmacists within their state. To locate your State Board of Pharmacy, visit: www. nabp.net f) Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committees – These committees are responsible for managing drug formularies within a healthcare system. Many P & T committees, on both the state and local levels, offer opportunities for patient advocate representation.
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