WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — This is a critical time for the industry as the Federal Trade Commission is expected to decide the fate of the Express Scripts-Medco merger in the coming weeks. ESI-Medco, and the pharmacy benefit manager threat in general, were at the top of the list of what members of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores came to talk about at the organization's annual NACDS RxImpact Day, as chains asked lawmkers to support new legislation that would bring greater transparency to PBM bookkeeping and to tell the FTC to block ESI-Medco. Interestingly enough, the PBM lobby also had been through the Capitol earlier last week. Their fly-in reportedly included some 30 delegates and about 100 meetings. By that measure it appears that community pharmacy is winning the communications battle.
(THE NEWS: NACDS RxImpact Day 'astounding' as pharmacy advocates conduct more than 350 congressional meetings. For the full story, click here)
Certainly, DSN did its part to help on the communications front. In support of the event, and to show its advocacy for the industry, DSN produced a special supplement especially for members of Congress. "Rx Impact: Community pharmacy brings innovation to patient care" included 20 profiles of pharmacy chains from big to small — and representative of every channel, including food, drug, mass and club stores — with a focus on what each company was doing to expand and improve patient care. Hand-delivered to all congressional members, committees and subcommittees, the special supplement, available for download at Drugstorenews.com/rximpact-2012, was sponsored by Upsher Smith and ran in retailer copies of the March 12 edition of DSN.