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Early projections on how elections will impact chain pharmacy


ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Even as the final votes were being tallied, Steven Anderson, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, on Wednesday issued an analysis ascertaining how the results of this year's Congressional races would impact the issues pertinent to retail pharmacy.

The overall consensus: 2016 was a good election. Retail pharmacy can continue to count on a number of Congressional leaders to continue their support of the industry on several issues, including provider status, generic drug access and reimbursement.

Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., won his election and continues to be the only pharmacist currently severing in the U.S. Congress. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a staunch champion of pharmacy and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also won re-election.

And the bill specifically championed by Grassley - provider status - is expected to continue to gain momentum in the new Congress.

"When the 115th Congress gavels into session in January, NACDS will have a foundation of support for several of our key legislative priorities," Anderson noted. "Specifically, S. 314/H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, will have many returning supporters." Of the 293 co-sponsors behind elevating pharmacists as healthcare providers, 255 will be returning, Anderson said. And in the Senate, 46 of the 51 cosponsors will be returning.

"While we clearly have a strong foundation laid for us to continue building momentum for this vital piece of legislation, we also have a lot of work to do to educate both the new members who will be coming to Washington as well as those who have not yet signed onto the legislation," Anderson said.

Additionally, in the Senate, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is expected to remain a Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. "Murray has been closely involved on issues related to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, the Drug Quality and Security Act, drug abuse and diversion issues, medication adherence, generic drug access and reimbursement issues," Anderson noted.


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