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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association wrapped up its three-day NCPA Legislative Conference Wednesday with a rally, the association announced.
Speakers at the rally included Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., the original sponsor of the Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act (S. 1058); Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., the original sponsor of the Preserving Our Hometown Independent Pharmacies Act (H.R. 1946); Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., the original sponsor of the Medicare Access to Diabetes Supplies Act (H.R. 1936); as well as Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; and Reps. Judy Chu, D-Calif., and Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas.
“Independent community pharmacists offer vital health care services to millions of patients across America that could be compromised without passage of S. 1058, H.R. 1946, and H.R. 1936,” NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey said. “These common-sense, bipartisan bills will rein in some of the most egregious behavior of pharmacy benefit managers help level contract negotiations between [pharmacy benefit managers] and pharmacies and ensure seniors can continue receiving essential diabetes testing supplies and face-to-face counseling from their local pharmacies," he said. “After our rally we will flood the halls of Congress to deliver our message, spurred on by the support we are receiving from Sen. Pryor, and Reps. Marino and Welch. They know independent community pharmacies are often in underserved rural and urban communities, and the bills they are championing will ensure the continuum of health care is preserved in those and other communities.”
During the previous two days Legislative Conference attendees also heard from Reps. Dave Camp, R-Mich.; Frank Pallone, D-N.J.; and Aaron Schock, R-Ill.; and Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas; Al Franken, D-Minn.; and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator and director for the Center for Medicare, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Colonel George Jones Jr., deputy chief pharmaceutical operations directorate for Tricare Management Activity, also spoke.
In addition there were panels on the Federal Trade Commission’s PBM-related decisions, efforts to combat pharmacy crimes and the challenges facing long-term care providers. Another highlight was a comprehensive media briefing with NCPA’s leadership team and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., who is co-chair of the Community Pharmacy Caucus.
“The Legislative Conference certainly achieved its goal of providing our members an opportunity to both hear from and advocate with members of Congress,” Hoey said. “They know the best way to address the questionable business practices of the PBM industry is through grassroots activism in support of pro-patient reforms.”