PHARMACY

NACDS endorses bipartisan Senate bill to expand MTM services for seniors

BY Jason Owen

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) today applauded the introduction of S. 557, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013, introduced yesterday by U.S. Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., along with the support of original cosponsors U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Al Franken, D-Minn., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. The legislation seeks to expand access to MTM services for senior citizens enrolled in the Medicare program.

“NACDS appreciates the leadership of Sens. Hagan and Roberts in spearheading this commonsense legislation, as well as the support of original cosponsors Sens. Brown, Franken, Johnson and Klobuchar. This bill can help patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed,” said NACDS President and CEO Steve Anderson, IOM, CAE. “Innovative pharmacy services such as MTM help to improve patient health and healthcare affordability, especially for those suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other conditions.”

Medication therapy management (MTM) is a professional service offered by pharmacists and other qualified health practitioners that helps ensure medications are taken appropriately to help improve health, reduce the risk of adverse events, and help control healthcare costs. Congress created the MTM benefit under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 for Medicare beneficiaries by requiring MTM services for patients on multiple medications suffering from chronic conditions or diseases.

"Medication Therapy Management is the type of commonsense, fiscally responsible program that should be expanded to benefit more seniors," said Sen. Hagan. "In North Carolina, this program has saved tens of millions of dollars, but more importantly, it has helped keep seniors healthy. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to expand this program to more seniors so that we can keep improving health outcomes without increasing health costs."

“We have recognized the value of pharmacists in the health system for many years. They are especially valuable for our Kansas communities, and can sometimes be the only health provider in our rural towns.” said Sen. Roberts. “MTM is an important tool in the pharmacists tool box for many patients but which can be critical for those suffering from chronic conditions. The Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act gives patients access to valuable counseling and management for their conditions, and takes the essential steps to guarantee what we already know: that MTM will save the system money while providing higher quality care for patients. I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation.”

Health policy research group NEHI cites that only 50 percent of patients take their medications properly as prescribed by their doctor, which costs the nation more than $290 billion annually in avoidable health spending annually.

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NACDS announces promotion of Roy McGrath, Alex Adams

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Friday the promotions of two staff members, that were effective March 1.

Roy McGrath has been promoted to VP of business development and conventions, from director of business development and conventions.  

Alex Adams has been promoted to VP of pharmacy programs for NACDS, and VP of NACDS Foundation research programs, from director of pharmacy programs.

McGrath has served NACDS in a number of capacities since joining NACDS in 1997, including manager, conference exhibits, and director, conference exhibits and registration. His promotion comes at an important time in NACDS’ conference programming. In his new role, he will lead initiatives to drive business opportunities for NACDS meetings and conferences, including the inaugural NACDS Total Store Expo taking place Aug. 10 to 13 in Las Vegas. McGrath will continue to advance business initiatives to bring together trading partners across the industry including pharmacy, consumer goods, supply chain, logistics, technology and more for the NACDS Total Store Expo. He will continue to report to Jim Whitman, SVP, member programs and services.
 
As a pharmacy student at the University of Toledo, Adams served as a pharmacy rotation student before joining NACDS in 2009 as director, pharmacy programs. In his new role with NACDS, he will lead and develop pharmacy programming initiatives to continue the momentum for NACDS’ new pharmacy care and patient advocacy department. In addition, in his new NACDS Foundation role, Adams will work to further one of the Foundation’s core missions in advancing public health through research to help improve patient health and quality of life.  He will continue to report to Kathleen Jaeger, SVP, pharmacy care and patient advocacy and president of the NACDS Foundation in both of his new roles.  
 
"We are pleased to recognize the hard work and dedication of both Roy and Alex within their respective departments at NACDS and the NACDS Foundation," stated Steve Anderson, NACDS president and CEO.  "Roy’s service to NACDS the last sixteen years demonstrates his commitment to providing business and educational opportunities for NACDS members at our meetings and conferences. As a pharmacist, Alex’s passion and commitment to community pharmacy is personified in his work on behalf of NACDS, its members and the Foundation.  We look forward to their continued success in their new roles."
 

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NACDS RxImpact Day comes at a critical time for industry

BY Antoinette Alexander

Hundreds of community pharmacy executives, pharmacy students and other pharmacy advocates representing 41,000 chain pharmacies took to Capitol Hill last week for the 5th Annual NACDS RxImpact Day and conducted more than 400 meetings with U.S. senators and representatives.

With implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2014, Congress desperately needs to hear from a stakeholder that can actually save the system money. There is growing awareness on the Hill that for every $1 invested in MTM, you save $10 to $12 — the bill introduced this week by Sens. Pat Roberts and Kay Hagan to expand MTM is a strong demonstration of that.

"NACDS appreciates the leadership of Sens. Hagan and Roberts in spearheading this commonsense legislation, as well as the support of original cosponsors Sens. Brown, Franken, Johnson and Klobuchar.  This bill can help patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson in a prepared statement.  “Innovative pharmacy services such as MTM help to improve patient health and healthcare affordability, especially for those suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other conditions.”

It is likely that legislation will draw more supporters in the weeks ahead, as NACDS members held more than 400 deskside meetings with members of Congress from their home districts, and MTM was one of three key talking points all RxImpact attendees came prepared to hammer home.

To make sure lawmakers got the message, Drug Store News produced the third edition of its RxImpact supplement profiling what community pharmacy is doing to advance patient care, lower costs, improve outcomes, and expand accessibility to quality care. The supplement was part of all RxImpact kits prepared as leave-behinds for members of Congress. The supplement was also hand-delivered to all members of the House and Senate.

The RxImpact Day event continues to grow in popularity. Participation was up 29% in 2013, with 34 companies attending (70% of industry), 38 states represented and 21 pharmacy schools.
 

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