NCPA reaches out to Senate Republicans regarding AHCA

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NCPA reaches out to Senate Republicans regarding AHCA

By Michael Johnsen - 05/12/2017

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday urged Senate Republicans to keep a number of important prescription drug-related provisions as they consider House passage of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act.

“Prescription drug coverage is an essential health benefit,” stated Douglas Hoey, CEO NCPA. “Any meaningful drug coverage should include patient choice of pharmacy and access to face-to-face counseling with a community pharmacist they know and trust.”

In a letter to the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and a 12-member working group of Republican Senators, NCPA asserts that pharmacist-provided prescription drug therapy is “incredibly cost effective” in helping improve medication adherence by patients, which in turn “improves health outcomes and reduces much more expensive interventions, such as emergency room treatment.”

The letter cites research showing that up to $290 billion in annual health care expenses result from the lack of medication adherence, and that a leading predictor of adherence is a patient’s proximity to and relationship with a pharmacist. “Patients must be able to choose a pharmacy that best meets their individual health needs,” Hoey wrote.

NCPA also made the following recommendations in its letter:

  • Support patient access to medication and ensure reasonable pharmacy reimbursement that includes both a community pharmacy’s medication acquisition and dispensing costs in any Medicaid reforms;

  • Expand patient access to community pharmacists to help manage chronic conditions;

  • Assure greater oversight of and transparency from PBMs in federal health care programs; and

  • Maintain regulatory relief for small business community pharmacies with exemptions from onerous and redundant accreditation standards.