ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Thursday applauded the Tricare Retail Pharmacy Vaccination Program’s announcement that 1 million vaccinations have been administered in retail pharmacies for military families and veterans.
Tricare expanded its pharmacy coverage in August 2011 to include a full spectrum of preventative vaccines. The expansion covers all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended vaccinations at no cost if they are administered by a pharmacist at a participating Tricare pharmacy. As a result, the milestone of one million vaccinations was achieved as of Oct. 28, 2012.
“We are pleased that the Department of Defense has expanded retail pharmacy’s role in administering vaccinations for Tricare patients,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “As the face of neighborhood health care, retail community pharmacies provide a number of patient services, including vaccinations, to help patients improve their health and reduce healthcare costs.”
NACDS has long-supported efforts to protect pharmacy choice and access for Tricare beneficiaries. Earlier this year, NACDS urged members of Congress to forego pharmacy co-payment changes to the Tricare program that would have placed significant financial burdens on its beneficiaries and threatened access to local community pharmacies. In comments to a U.S. Senate panel, NACDS also emphasized to Congress the importance of finding ways to control spending while preserving patient pharmacy choice and access.
“This week we remember the brave service men and women who have served or continue to serve the nation. One of the best way to honor them is to protect Tricare beneficiaries’ ability to receive their vaccinations, fill their prescriptions and other health services provided by retail community pharmacy,” Anderson said.