Advocates continue lobbying push in wake of NACDS RxImpact Day

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Buoyed by the success of the second annual NACDS RxImpact Day and its continuing aftermath, jubilant leaders of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores already are planning a similar event for next year.

Since the two-day event on Capitol Hill concluded last week, NACDS members and other pharmacy advocates already have sent some 1,500 letters to their federal legislators over the past week, the group announced Tuesday. Those written appeals supplement the more than 220 in-person meetings pharmacy leaders held with lawmakers in Congress during NACDS RxImpact Day.

The grassroots advocacy event was held March 10 and 11. The meetings, NACDS noted, “were strategically arranged to maximize pharmacy’s presence among key healthcare-related congressional committees.”

Participants’ written summaries of their meetings on Capitol Hill continue to arrive at NACDS, so the number of meetings is expected to exceed the 220 face-to-face encounters with lawmakers already reported. But this much already is known:

  • The participants in RxImpact Day –– which included NACDS members, pharmacy students and faculty, state pharmacy associations and other pharmacy advocates –– met with at least 67 Senators and 153 members of the House of Representatives;
  • Meetings occurred with 130 Democrats, 88 Republicans and two Independents;
  • 70% of those members of Congress serving on committees with healthcare jurisdiction saw one or more pharmacy representative;
  • Participants met with 16 of 23 members of the Senate Finance Committee, along with 18 of 23 members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, 43 of 59 members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and 24 of 41 members of the House Ways and Means Committee.

“This has been an amazingly powerful week for pharmacy, for patient care, and for NACDS, and there still is time for the people of pharmacy to participate ‘virtually,’” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. “To make a difference for the profession and for the industry, log onto www.RxImpact.org and send a letter to your elected officials to tell your story as the face of neighborhood health care.”

Plans already are underway for the 2011 NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill, which will be held March 9 and 10, 2011, in Washington.

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