Archive for August, 2013

Patient-Centric Services on Display During Congressional Pharmacy Visits

By Michael Rule, Associate Director of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

Previously, The Dose posted a call to action during the August Congressional recess, imploring independent community pharmacists to use the opportunity to share their experiences with their elected officials, and encouraging them to host their elected officials for a pharmacy visit if possible. Over the course of the last several weeks, NCPA has received feedback from pharmacists demonstrating that several members of the House and Senate took advantage of the opportunity to tour a local pharmacy. The following are just a few examples visits that have taken place.

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Congressman’s Letter Adds to Concerns about “Preferred Pharmacy” Medicare Drug Plans

Significant Congressional concern continues regarding patient and pharmacist complaints about “preferred network” drug plans in the Medicare Part D benefit, judging by a recent letter sent by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) to Medicare.

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Federal Health Officials Laud Pharmacists’ Immunization Role

By Kevin Schweers

With the influenza vaccination season around the corner, officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recognizing pharmacists’ role in expanding access to immunizations and seeking pharmacists’ continued help, according to a letter to pharmacists from HHS and CDC that was published by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

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Congress’ August Recess Provides Opportunities to Promote Common Sense Policy

By Michael Rule, Associate Director of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

Congress recently adjourned for its annual August recess. During this five week period, Senators and Representatives will be spending much time at home, touring the state or district and listening to constituents. For independent community pharmacists, this presents a tremendous opportunity to educate members of Congress on the role you play in the healthcare system and in your communities, and on the patient services you provide. This is also an opportunity to advocate for common sense reforms regarding abusive audits by pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) and to seek reversal of a CMS rule regarding home delivery diabetes test supplies (DTS). You also can educate elected officials on the unintended consequences of some legislative efforts regarding pharmacy compounding.

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States Lead the Way in PBM Reforms: Will Congress Follow?

By Michael Rule, Associate Director of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

Independent Community Pharmacists are both small business owners and trusted healthcare providers. As such, they contribute to both the local economy through employment opportunities and taxes. In fact, studies have shown that for every dollar spent at a local small business, $.68 is reinvested in the local economy, this drops to $.43 for chain stores, and mail order purchases bring no economic benefit to communities. As healthcare providers, independent community pharmacists they promote proper medication adherence with patients, check the patient’s medication regimen for harmful interactions, and when appropriate work with the patient’s doctor to prescribe lower cost generic alternatives: all of which contribute to savings in the health system.

Continue reading ‘States Lead the Way in PBM Reforms: Will Congress Follow?’

Lawmaker Touts Community Pharmacies in Congressional Remarks

By Kevin Schweers

Before Congress adjourned for its August recess, Congressional Community Pharmacy Caucus member and U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), reasserted his support for independent community pharmacies and their role helping patients and contributing to the local economy.

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