In newspaper ads placed in selected Congressional districts this August, NACDS is thanking members of the U.S. House of Representatives for co-sponsoring the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592/S. 109). NACDS also is urging the members of Congress to work toward ultimate passage and enactment of the legislation.
The bill would allow people covered by Medicare to obtain basic healthcare services from their pharmacists. It would apply to those who are considered to have fewer healthcare access solutions than most, and to services that pharmacists are allowed to perform under state laws. Related services could include basic health tests, immunizations, tests for flu or strep throat and help with managing such chronic illnesses as diabetes. Medicare beneficiaries already can receive such services from nurse practitioners and physician assistants. NACDS emphasizes that pharmacists are highly qualified to provide many services beyond medication dispensing by virtue of the minimum six-year doctor of pharmacy degree that is required to sit for the pharmacy license exam.
In the ads, NACDS highlights the popularity of the concept behind the bill, based on opinion research conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS. This research also was the basis for a new NACDS opinion research dashboard, which was released earlier this year. The research’s results can be reported at the state and Congressional district levels. Roughly 8-in-10 respondents support the ability of Medicare patients to obtain various healthcare services from pharmacists. Notably, support for this concept runs equally strong among those who voted for President Donald Trump, those who voted for Hillary Clinton and those who voted for another candidate in the 2016 presidential election.
NACDS’ print ads complement similar radio and digital ads by the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition, or PAPCC, which also are appearing in selected Congressional districts this August. NACDS is a Steering Committee member of PAPCC.