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NACDS testifies on healthcare reform at House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing


ALEXANDRIA, Va. Chain retail pharmacies got their say in the debate over healthcare reform in testimony Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

National Association of Chain Drug Stores VP federal government affairs Paul Kelly addressed the subcommittee as part of its review of the draft healthcare reform legislation released by the chairmen of the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means and Energy and Labor.

Kelly’s testimony followed more than 180 meetings last week between pharmacy advocates and members of Congress during NACDS RxImpact Day.

“One of pharmacy’s major contributions is helping with medication adherence,” Kelly said in his testimony. “Simply put, adherence is taking medications correctly. It has major implications for patient health and for healthcare costs … Non-adherence has been estimated to cost $177 billion annually.”

Kelly said pharmacy access could be compromised if Congress did not reform pharmacy Medicaid reimbursements, putting 20% of pharmacies at risk, particularly those that serve low-income customers.

“The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 would set pharmacy reimbursement for some generics at 36% below cost,” Kelly said. “While aspects of this issue are complex, it comes down to a basic principle of economics.”

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