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SAN DIEGO — The National Community Pharmacists Association released its third online pharmacy benefit manager video at the Association’s Annual Convention. Titled “Fed Up With Phil,” the video is part of campaign to create greater awareness of how pharmacy benefit managers can undermine the relationship between patients and their pharmacists.
NCPA’s CEO B. Douglas Hoey, R.Ph, said the organization will work this year to raise awareness among patients, plan sponsors and policy makers about how independent pharmacists help patients get the maximum value of their health plan.
Hoey said NCPA medicine adherence programs were a dominant theme at the meeting, with specialized programming and a special section devoted to the issue in the exhibition hall.
Lack of adherence costs the U.S. $300 billion a year, said Hoey. The shift to a preventive care philosophy makes it more crucial that pharmacists are recognized for their roles as healthcare providers, he said.
Long-term care niche marketing was also a hot topic at the meeting with a half-day of programming and a special section in the exhibition hall devoted to the area.
Donnie Calhoun, NCPA’s president elect, said that in 2012 the organization will focus on expanding community pharmacies’ scope of practice and will seek provider status for pharmacists. “It’s time we championed the patient’s choice of pharmacy and our role as healthcare providers,” he said.
Calhoun, who has worked as a pharmacist for 20 years and is the owner of a community pharmacy in Anniston, Ala., said that pharmacists should be paid for immunizing patients as well as providing the consultation and follow-up care essential to ensuring that patients adhere to their medication and healthcare regimen.
On the legislative front, John Coster, NCPA’s senior VP government affairs, said the organization will be focusing on “bringing more sense to how PBMs regulate pharmacies” and how much pharmacists will be paid for services, and will support legislation that exempts small pharmacies from bidding on Medicare competitive acquisition programs and pricing.