A group representing independent pharmacies is urging Congress to cut the deficit by reducing healthcare expenditures, but “without compromising patients’ access to their pharmacy of choice or harming local jobs.” In a letter sent last month to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the National Community Pharmacists Association suggested increasing use of generic drugs, encouraging such services as medication therapy management, collecting manufacturer rebates, and allowing patients to choose their pharmacies and avoid requirements to use mail-order services. These measures, the NCPA said, could reduce spending on drugs and increase medication adherence.
“We believe that significant savings can be found through simple reforms to programs like Medicare and Medicaid that will result in reduced drug costs for the federal government and consumers,” NCPA CEO and EVP Douglas Hoey said. “Nothing can save the health system more money than the appropriate use of generic medications. Local pharmacists are leading the way on the proper use of these cost-cutting drugs.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores sent a letter to the same committee, calling for moves to increase medication adherence and urging collaboration with community pharmacy in developing solutions to curb healthcare costs, while at the same time maintaining patient access to prescription medications and pharmacy services. Highlighting the accessibility of local pharmacists, the letter urged improved medication adherence as key to improved health and reduced costs.