NACDS responds to Senate's failed cloture vote

ALEXANDRIA, Va. In response to the failure of the Senate Thursday to achieve cloture on S. 3101, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, Steve Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores released a statement, saying, “The vote to move forward with debate on Chairman Baucus’ bill fell just short for now, but the vote serves as an indicator of promising bipartisan support.”

Earlier in the week he had called the measure must-pass legislation.

Sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the bill had included a number of pharmacy-friendly provisions, and drawn support from numerous industry associations. “The vote also is a strong invitation to put partisanship aside to implement policies that are good for patients, healthcare providers, businesses and the national and local economies,” Anderson added.

“While this is a major step, much has to be done before these provisions become law. NACDS will continue to work to build support on both sides of the political aisle to advance the critical pharmacy provisions, on ‘cloture’ in the near future,” he said “The Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement cuts are a flawed policy that would expect pharmacies to sell drugs below cost. This illogical expectation could shutter more than 11,000 pharmacies, which account for over 300,000 jobs and $31.1 billion in economic output. Fixing this dire situation is a solid economic position. Providing a remedy such as the delay put forth in S. 3101 also is a solid healthcare position, as ensuring patients take their medications as prescribed is vital for health and wellness, and for preventing more costly forms of care. The NACDS legislative, legal, regulatory and public relations battle on the issue continues,” said Anderson.

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