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NACDS honors pharmacists, pharmacy team members in TV ad

Timed with the formal end of the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, an NACDS ad is punctuating the occasion with a “thank you” to pharmacists and pharmacy teams.
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The National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson invites the industry to share two new NACDS resources that honor pharmacists and all pharmacy team members. The first is a television and digital ad that kicked off May 11 on cable stations in the national capital area. The second is a peer-reviewed article co-authored by NACDS and published in Health Security.

Anderson said, “Both of these items are ideally timed with today’s historic end of the COVID-19 public health emergency and with the federal government’s extension through December 2024 of much of the pharmacy access made possible through the current declaration of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act). For that matter, they also coincide well with additional federal action to help meet COVID-19 vaccine access for uninsured individuals.

"The dedication, professionalism, knowledge, trust, accessibility, and sacrifice of pharmacists and pharmacy team members proved decisive in re-opening America. The more than 300 million vaccinations provided in pharmaciesand other extensive proof pointsspeak volumes about the simply irreplaceable role of pharmacy.

[Read more: NACDS report highlights role local pharmacies, pharmacists play in patient-centered services]

"When I look back at the national television ad that NACDS released in April 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, I am struck by the many, many ways that pharmacy lived up to the pledge to be there for Americaat a time when we did not know what COVID-19 would become, and the devastating impact if would have on our nation and our world.

"Collaborating with NACDS chain and supplier members, colleges and schools of pharmacy, allied state and national associations, federal and state governments, public health stakeholders, the media, and many, many others has meant everythingand I want to thank you for that.

"For the good of all Americans, we have so much more to accomplish. Today, we should honor the essential work of pharmacists and of pharmacy teams, and we should recommit to the important work that lies ahead. We hope that these two resources that we are sharing with you are helpful in both of these areas.

"Thank you for your leadership and support."

The ad states:

“It’s a normal day again in America. We’ve all been through a lot the past few years. But when things have seemed most uncertain there has been one constant, one trusted force for hope: America’s pharmacists. Dedicated, relentless, with more than 300 million COVID shots given in local pharmacies. With a commitment to a healthy America that is unbreakable – that opened the nation and our lives. It’s a normal day again. Thank you.”

The TV ad aired Thursday, May 11, in the Washington, D.C. market and will extend to selected states. In addition, NACDS distributed the ad digitally on Thursday.

[Read more: NACDS receives ASAE's 2021 Power of A Gold award]

In releasing the ad, Anderson said, “We want pharmacists and pharmacy teams to know that their dedication, professionalism, knowledge, trust, accessibility, and sacrifice remain deeply appreciated and top-of-mind. They helped to save and reopen America, in ways that include the more than 302 million COVID-19 vaccinations provided in pharmacies – including more than two-thirds of all adult COVID-19 vaccinations given during the 2022-2023 season. Pharmacists and pharmacy teams also helped to address individuals’ needs within their communities, as the healthcare professionals who kept their doors open at a time of extreme concern and uncertainty.

“Just as NACDS advised the federal and state governments of policies needed to make possible pharmacy’s pandemic response, we will continue to convey clearly the policies necessary for the pharmacy access that patients need and expect. In just a few examples, states need to make permanent the pharmacy access made possible by the federal PREP Act (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act). The U.S. Congress needs to enact the Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act (H.R. 1770) to ensure Medicare beneficiaries have access to pharmacist services approved by the states. The federal and state governments need to do their part to bring about comprehensive pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reform to take on the practices of pharmaceutical middlemen.”

Over one week in April, NACDS lauded two major victories for patient access. First, the Biden Administration announced it would extend through December 2024 many of the PREP Act pharmacy-access provisions and also announced action on COVID-19 vaccine access for uninsured individuals. NACDS had advocated consistently for these initiatives over approximately two years.

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