NCPA busy on Capitol Hill

Organization endorses new legislation

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Capping off a meeting that brought hundreds of independent community pharmacists to Washington for the National Community Pharmacists Association Legislative Conference, members of Congress joined pharmacists at the Capitol on Wednesday to discuss the cost-saving services provided by local pharmacies now and in the future.

At the rally, NCPA endorsed S. 1058, the Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act of 2011, bipartisan legislation introduced by Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., to help safeguard patient’s choice of pharmacy, bolster privacy rights and reduce wasteful pharmaceutical spending.

“Community pharmacists greatly appreciate the bipartisan support expressed this week for local pharmacies and the vital health services they provide to patients,” stated Robert Greenwood, NCPA president. “It’s critical that the patient-pharmacist partnership be strengthened. … The Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act will help preserve patients’ access to their preferred pharmacy and encourage greater pharmacy competition for consumers.”

S. 1058 is companion legislation to H.R. 1971, sponsored by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y. This piece of legislation will help establish new consumer protections against the sale of sensitive patient information and help eliminate unnecessary pharmaceutical spending.

Earlier this week, Reps. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., introduced the Medicare Access to Diabetes Supplies Act that will exempt independent pharmacies from competitive bidding and will allow seniors to continue receiving diabetes testing supplies and counseling on their proper use from independent community pharmacies. Community pharmacists also are backing the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act, H.R. 891 and S. 274, NCPA stated.

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