ALEXANDRIA, Va. — More than 300 independent community pharmacists from across the country met in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill Wednesday for the 2013 National Community Pharmacists Association Conference on Legislation and Government Affairs. The pharmacists conducted more than 500 meetings with congressional offices.
“Independent community pharmacists play a critical role in improving patient outcomes and reducing costs,” stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO. “However, those efforts can be undermined by the decisions made in Washington and in state capitals across the country. NCPA’s Legislative Conference is the perfect venue to give independent community pharmacists the megaphone they need to tell Congress why pro-pharmacist legislation is pro-patient and ultimately the right thing to do for the constituents they represent," he said. "This year the megaphone grew louder, because independent community pharmacists also advocated for change from outside the confines of Washington over a more extended period of time.”
Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., kicked off the conference by addressing the members at the opening luncheon. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., House Republican Conference Chairman, addressed the membership at the general session. Panels discussed the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as well as insiders’ perspective from congressional staff on general health care and pharmacy issues.
“Based on the feedback we have received from attendees, this year’s Legislative Conference and accompanying Community Pharmacy Advocacy Weeks have been a huge success,” Hoey said. “The 113th U.S. Congress is only a few months old, so now is the time to educate elected officials about the problems we face and propose remedies to fix them. The response to those efforts was very positive.”