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.

In remarks published in the Congressional Record, Loebsack noted:

  • Community pharmacists are “the front-line health care providers and counselors for many patients who consistently depend on their training and expertise to stay informed, healthy, and out of the hospital.”
  • “Like most small business owners, community pharmacists face many challenges and compete and negotiate on a day-to-day basis with large entities in their business transactions. However, small pharmacy owners face an even larger disadvantage than most because of their clear lack of leverage they have when negotiating the amount they will be reimbursed for filling prescriptions when dealing with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).”
  • PBM audits of community pharmacies play “an important role to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries are not taken advantage of, but problems arise when audits are conducted over clerical, administrative errors rather than targeted toward bad actors who willfully game the system. I have heard from several upstanding small business owners in my district who have been subject to these unnecessary audits and I think the process needs to be reformed so that these audits are as fair and transparent as possible.”
  • “I believe it is our duty to take a close look at these practices to ensure our small pharmacies have a fair working relationship with these large PBMs and that the needs of seniors and all those that depend on community pharmacists are met.”

Loebsack’s remarks follow a recent “special order” during which Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Tom Marino (R-Pa.) delivered impassioned speeches on behalf of community pharmacists’ services to patients as well as the challenges that they face. NCPA thanks all of these Representatives for their support of community pharmacists.

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