ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill showcased the unsurpassed value of community pharmacy as pharmacy advocates from 41 states conducted more than 350 meetings with U.S. senators and representatives this week.
Community pharmacy advocates — including pharmacists, pharmacy students and other pharmacy supporters — met with 86% of members of Congress who serve on congressional committees with jurisdiction on healthcare issues.
Community pharmacy advocates wore white coats and bright blue stickers on their lapels stating, “Ask Me What Pharmacies Do!” — creating an important opportunity for lawmakers to further understand how community pharmacies help patients maintain and improve their health, and help drive down healthcare costs.
Advocates discussed a variety of issues with lawmakers, including urging them to write the Federal Trade Commission in opposition to the proposed pharmacy benefit manager mega-merger of Express Scripts and Medco. Other issues included urging increased access to medication therapy management services, maintaining pharmacy choice and access in the Tricare program, addressing PBM issues in a way that improves patient care and ensuring fair and adequate pharmacy reimbursement in federal healthcare programs.
Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., offered remarks during an issue briefing held during the event, emphasizing his support for community pharmacy as sponsor of the Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act (S. 1058). Pryor also received the NACDS Congressional Leadership Award, in recognition of his commitment to pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policy.
Sen. John Tester, D-Mont., Reps. Mike Ross, D-Ark., and Lee Terry, R-Neb., submitted official comments to the Congressional Record in support of their constituents and community pharmacy in lead-up to NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill.
Pharmacy advocates who were unable to attend the NACDS event in person participated in the NACDS RxImpact Virtual Hill Day. Demonstrating an overwhelming show of support for this week’s Hill event, the Virtual Hill Day program generated more than 2,000 communications to more than 270 members of Congress.
“The enthusiasm for this year’s NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill was astounding,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson saod. “This annual event — now in its fourth year — built on the fantastic progress of the three great fly-in events that preceded it. The overwhelming support by pharmacy advocates — both in person in Washington, D.C., and via electronic communications from across the country — demonstrated the focus and urgency of telling the story of community pharmacy to lawmakers, and drawing important distinctions on key pro-patient, pro-pharmacy issues.”