NCPA's legislative conference draws to a close

WASHINGTON A group representing the nation's independent pharmacies and pharmacists called its annual legislative conference a success.

Nearly 500 pharmacist attendees participated in the National Community Pharmacists Association's 42nd Annual Conference on Legislation and Government Affairs to discuss the new healthcare-reform law and implementation of additional bipartisan legislation. The participants lobbied for two bills that address the business practices of pharmacy benefit managers and competitive bidding requirements for Medicare Part B durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies.

During the conference approximately 200 congressional visits were made to press senators and representatives for co-sponsorship and passage of the two aforementioned bills, among other issues. These efforts were amplified today with the assistance of NCPA members who were not in attendance, but who contacted their federal elected officials’ offices for “Independent Community Pharmacy Congressional Action Day.” The message was further driven home through an advertisement in Capitol Hill publications.

“Each year, the federal government’s influence over independent community pharmacies grows as does our members’ commitment to educating decision-makers in our nation’s capital about their concerns, while providing constructive solutions,” said Bruce Roberts, NCPA EVP and CEO. “The attendees at this year’s legislative conference came here to help ensure that congressional and federal officials are creating a level playing field that allows independent community pharmacies to continue working to improve health outcomes and reduce costs.”

Added NCPA president Joseph Harmison, “This week independent community pharmacy voices were heard throughout Washington, either by meeting with their member of Congress or calling into their offices. Whether it is passing legislation to curtail PBMs’ ability to operate in secret or audit pharmacies in a predatory fashion, or protecting patients’ access to essential medical supplies like diabetes testing strips, we are sticking up for our pharmacies and our patients.”

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