Michael Wright, executive director of the highly successful Texas Pharmacy Business Council, has been named Vice President of Government Affairs for American Pharmacies. Wright, who has led TPBC since 2012, has guided the nation's first freestanding pharmacy advocacy group to nation-leading success.
During his eight years at TPBC, the group has has passed 10 of the 12 bills it has introduced at the Texas Legislature and has become a model for state pharmacy advocacy around the nation. TPBC passed the nation's first ban on PBM transaction fees in 2015 and the fourth state ban on clawbacks in 2017. Other victories include legislation to strengthen criminal penalties for pharmacy burglaries, MAC transparency in both commercial and Medicaid plans, and some of the nation's strongest prompt-pay and audit laws.
Wright already provides considerable advice and support to advocacy efforts in Michigan, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee and Arizona. In his new role, he will travel to those and other states as needed to help APRx members identify their state legislative priorities, cultivate political support and develop legislation.
He will also continue his oversight of TPBC and the New Mexico Pharmacy Business Council, APRX's other advocacy subsidiary.
APRx President Laird Leavoy said creation of the new advocacy position sends a strong message that American Pharmacies values the advocacy needs of its members and prospects in all states.
"We are justifiably proud of what Michael Wright has done in Texas since 2012 in making TPBC the leading state advocacy organization for independent pharmacy," Leavoy said. "Now he will be using his experience and insights in other states to help empower our members' advocacy efforts."
Wright assumed the leadership of TPBC in June 2012 after serving as Senior Director of Public Affairs for Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA). Prior to that, he worked more than 30 years as a government relations executive at Hoffmann-La Roche, a multinational pharmaceutical company. From 1985-99, he managed all Roche's legislative and regulatory affairs for Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico.
Wright emphasized that his new role will not in any way diminish the importance of his work for TPBC or NMPBC.
"We have an advocacy leadership position in Texas and New Mexico that we are determined to strengthen," he said. "We have outstanding teams in place in both states."We'll especially focus on the months between legislative sessions to increase our engagement with members and advocacy stakeholders in other states. It's a natural evolution of our advocacy expertise and American Pharmacies' growing national footprint."
Wright formerly served on the TPA Board of Directors as an industry representative and was instrumental in building corporate financial support for the Association. He was honored with TPA's Distinguished Service Award in 2010. As TPA's advocacy leader, he helped start the Texas Pharmacy Coalition, a diverse alliance of pharmacy groups representing independent, chain and hospital pharmacy.
An Iowa native, Wright earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and also graduated from Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute of Government Affairs. He is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran.
Wright has been married for 50 years to his wife, Lynn, and he last year celebrated three 50-year milestones: his 50th wedding anniversary, the 50th anniversary of his Vietnam service and the 50th anniversary of his graduation from UNI.
He is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the UNI Foundation and was a member of the
Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Committee, which oversaw fundraising, design, production and installation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Texas Capitol Grounds.