NCPA's annual Congressional Fly-In tallied more than 600 Congressional visits

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NCPA's annual Congressional Fly-In tallied more than 600 Congressional visits

By Sandra Levy - 04/15/2019
Hundreds of independent community pharmacists came to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., in the past two weeks to offer Congress solutions to the problem of skyrocketing prescription drug costs.

The purpose of the annual Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In, organized by the National Community Pharmacists Association, is to urge Congress to support an agenda that will rein in pharmacy benefit manager abuses and restore clarity and fairness to prescription drug pricing.

The community pharmacists also received policy updates from Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar and other guest speakers such as Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., a community pharmacy champion, and John
Coster, director of the division of pharmacy for the Center for Medicaid & CHIP Services at CMS.

The following is a recap of NCPA’s 2019 Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In:

  • The event drew hundreds of community pharmacists from 39 states.

  • Community pharmacists visited more than 260 congressional offices for meetings with members of Congress or staffers; because many of those meetings were attended by multiple pharmacists, the effect amounts to more than 600 interactions with members of Congress or their staff during the two-day event.

  • Their efforts are aimed at increasing congressional support for transparency into PBMs and health plans, lower drug prices, and for independents’ ability to participate in preferred pharmacy networks.

“What a great week for community pharmacy patients. Community pharmacists have long been their advocates for real solutions to the problems of medication access and affordability. Secretary Azar recognized this close pharmacist-patient relationship when speaking to our group, pledging to continue taking on the big special interests manipulating the prescription drug marketplace at the expense of patients. A big takeaway from our Fly-In and from last week’s PBM hearings on Capitol Hill – the administration and members of Congress are listening to and working to address what patients and pharmacists are saying,” NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey said.

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