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Advocates, lawmakers converge at RxImpact Day


The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ RxImpact Day fulfilled the purpose implied in its name. More than 150 pharmacy advocates from 30 states converged on Capitol Hill on June 17, many of them clad in white lab coats, to educate lawmakers on the role that pharmacy plays in improving patient care and keeping healthcare costs down.

Chief among their goals were fixing average manufacturer price, ensuring that medication therapy management is a meaningful part of any healthcare reform legislation and exemption of pharmacies from having to put up $50,000 per location in surety bonds for the right to sell durable medical equipment to Medicare beneficiaries.

Unless AMP is fixed, it could harm access to health care because operating at a loss whenever they fill a Medicaid prescription could force pharmacies to either stop filling Medicaid prescriptions or shut down entirely. MTM helps people with chronic diseases to use their medications properly to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs; failure to take medications as prescribed costs an estimated $177 billion a year in direct and indirect costs to the healthcare system. The DME issue is about improving efficiency in health care and eliminating the fragmentation that forces, for example, diabetes patients to get their insulin at one place and their testing supplies at another.

NACDS also began a letter-writing campaign to members of Congress, reaching out to more than 20,000 pharmacy advocates, including NACDS members, to encourage them to engage on healthcare reform with their elected officials in Washington.

“NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill is the cornerstone event of the association’s newly launched grassroots advocacy program. NACDS is pleased to welcome pharmacists and other industry advocates from across the country in Washington, D.C., today,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.

“Pharmacy is the face of neighborhood health care.… The timing of the healthcare reform debate could not afford a better opportunity for pharmacy to urge lawmakers to include pro-patient, propharmacy policies in those discussions,” Anderson added.

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