NACDS, NCPA weigh in on CMS administrator nomination

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Two pharmacy groups are responding to President Obama's nomination of Donald Berwick to the post of administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association both released statements on Tuesday commending Berwick's nomination and look forward to "working constructively with him." Both groups said they hope Berwick shares their commitment to healthcare quality and improved patient health. Berwick, a healthcare industry veteran, currently is the president and CEO of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, in addition to a clinical professor at both Harvard's Medical School and School of Public Health.

“Particularly as much of the focus on healthcare reform now will shift to the executive branch, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will play a major role in issues that affect peoples’ lives, and the ability of healthcare providers to improve public health. On key pharmacy issues that have been rightfully included in healthcare reform, NACDS is eager to engage in this process,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.

Since Medicare and Medicaid makes up approximately 40% of the average community pharmacy's revenue, NCPA said, policies developed by CMS influence the 23,000 community pharmacies it represents.

“If CMS administrator-designate Berwick is confirmed, NCPA is committed to working constructively with him,” said NCPA EVP and CEO Bruce Roberts. “We want to continue offering practical solutions to ensure Medicare and Medicaid are efficient, effective and maintain longstanding patient-community pharmacist relationships. When that occurs pharmacists can be focused on using their expertise to improve the quality of patient care, while reducing medical spending in federal health programs.”

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