Eva Carlson has a passion for advocacy and legislative work which has been stimulated through her experience with the medication repository at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Twin Cities. Now in her third year at the college, this native of Burnsville, Minnesota, has had a winding path to pharmacy. In high school, Carlson initially discounted the idea of pursuing pharmacy when someone suggested it to her. However, as she learned more about the profession and its various roles, she was brought back to the field. Her interest was especially piqued after taking an undergraduate pre-pharmacy elective about drugs in the U.S. health care system. The course covered larger, controversial issues in health care. The primary subject from the elective course that interested her was drug pricing, which is the main issue Carlson wanted to explore.
“Looking at pharmacy and all the larger issues in health care was kind of fun -- tackling those big problems and looking into what are both sides and how do we try to resolve some of those,” said Carlson.
Following graduation, she began working at CVS to gain background experience in pharmacy and drug pricing.
Once she began studying at the College of Pharmacy, Carlson became involved in policy work through the medication repository, RoundtableRx, one of her favorite student activities.
There, she and other members of the group, have worked to spread the word about program issues and legislation, which passed in 2019. Students actively meet with legislators to discuss the goals of the organization and what it would provide for all Minnesotans and are hoping to secure state funding someday. The organization considers not only the price of drugs, but also access to medications. For this, students meet with different pharmacists at various health systems that might be able to work with the medication repository. The opportunities from RoundtableRx have provided valuable insight into the different aspects of advocacy and legislative work.
“It has been a very good experience for me in understanding the different levels of advocacy work, at both the state level and then the health system level as well,” Carlson explained.
After graduation, she sees herself continuing to work on drug policy, specifically national drug policies. However, the general field she is interested in is managed care. “I've liked being able to kind of have an impact a little bit higher level.”