NCPA Ads Champion Pharmacy Choice, Generic Drug Payment Issues


By Kevin Schweers

Community pharmacists will blanket hundreds of Congressional offices this week in conjunction with the NCPA Legislative Conference. To augment their efforts to advance pro-patient, pro-pharmacist policies NCPA developed advertisements for the Washington audience.

In this blog post I want to call attention to two ads.

“Let seniors choose”—A picture says 1,000 words, goes the adage, and this one succinctly conveys the impact on patients resulting from PBM-imposed restrictions on pharmacy access.

The full form of the advertisement recounts the patient access concerns associated with Medicare “preferred pharmacy” drug plans, particularly in urban and rural areas. It also notes the strong bipartisan and consumer organization support for great prescription drug and pharmacy access and urges lawmakers to support this legislation, H.R. 793 / S. 1190.

A digital or online companion to the ad features a senior’s image alongside the caption “Let seniors choose the pharmacy that’s best for them.”

Both ads refer readers to NCPA’s landing page on the “any willing pharmacy”/”preferred pharmacy” issue—www.ncpanet.org/pharmacychoice.

#1 Threat to Independent Community Pharmacies“—Recently NCPA surveyed 700 community pharmacists regarding their experiences with generic drug prices spikes and huge pharmacy losses filling prescriptions for those drugs because of lagging updates by PBMs to reimbursement benchmarks (or MACs). The overwhelming response from pharmacists was that this problem is as bad or worse today as it was in 2013.

This ad is intended to raise awareness about that problem and support for solutions, including the bipartisan H.R. 244, to facilitate timely MAC updates to compensate pharmacies fairly. The person displayed in the ad is community pharmacy rock star Hashim Zaibak of the Milwaukee area’s Hayat Pharmacy. The ad links readers to our MAC/generic drug price spike web page—www.ncpanet.org/pharmacyaccess.

On that web page a video is prominently displayed featuring Hashim and other community pharmacists. They discuss how frequent and severe this problem is, its negative impact on local economies and philanthropic causes, as well as the need for H.R. 244.

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