NACDS: Momentum builds for bipartisan legislation to protect Americans’ access to pharmacist care
The Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition, of which NACDS serves on the Executive Committee, continues to aggressively advocate and build support for the Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act (HR 7213) — bipartisan legislation that would help ensure the continuity of accessible pharmacy-based care, during public health emergencies and every day.
[Read more: NACDS report highlights role pharmacies, pharmacists play in patient-centered services]
Key communications and advocacy activities since the introduction of HR 7213 in late March include:
- Media Engagement:
The Chicago Sun-Times, The Capital Times and the Charleston Gazette Mail recently published opinion pieces from pharmacists in Illinois, Wisconsin and West Virginia, respectively, on the need for federal legislation (HR 7213) to help ensure patient access to pandemic-related, pharmacist care:
Read the Chicago Sun Times op-ed.
Read The Capital Times op-ed.
Read the Charleston Gazette-Mail op-ed.
Additionally, an opinion piece, titled Patients Lose if We Don't Continue to Expand Pharmacy-Based Clinical Care in t he U.S., by Kevin Ban, chief medical officer of Walgreens, and Jenni Zilka, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, urges enactment of HR 7213, the pharmacist provider status bill for which the Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition is advocating: “We should continue to evolve the model of pharmacy, allowing it to serve as a meaningful extension of our public health system and as an essential access point for those who need care the most. Otherwise, patients will ultimately lose.”
- Third party engagement:
More than 160 organizations have voiced support for HR 7213.
Also, to date, 54 organizations representing patients, senior and rural and underserved communities have signed a letter of support for HR 7213. The National Black Nurses Association, National Hispanic Medical Association and American Red Cross are among those groups supporting the legislation.
[Read more: NACDS, Johns Hopkins report: Pharmacies play a vital role in achieving health equity]
On May 19, 31 hospitals and health systems delivered a letter to Congress, expressing “deep support” for HR 7213 and the role the legislation would play in alleviating gaps in patient care and advancing health equity.
- Digital advocacy efforts:
The NACDS RxIMPACT advocacy program inspired advocates to contact 76% of the U.S. House of Representatives through a digital grassroots letter-writing campaign, urging co-sponsorship of HR 7213.
Additionally, the Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition issued a branded congressional email notification urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor the bill — which has generated 655 total opens (19.5% open rate) and 16 total clicks among congressional staff.