Putting pharmacy’s ‘Access Agenda’ to work for America

3/13/2015

NACDS Chairman of the Board John Standley, Chairman and Chief Executive Offcer, Rite Aid Corp.


Thank you to the 114th Congress for welcoming the participants in the 2015 NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill! We appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the key policy issues that shape pharmacy patient care for your constituents.



As NACDS Chairman, I like to refer to these issues as our “Access Agenda.” These are the issues that significantly affect the ability of patients and consumers to benefit from health-and-wellness solutions in pharmacies in every state and Congressional district.



The first component of the Access Agenda addresses the need to maintain patient access to pharmacies and to quality pharmaceutical care through programs like Medicaid, Medicare and TRICARE. Patients in these programs rely on their trusted pharmacists for prescription medications, and for information about taking these medications safely and most effectively. Factors like prescription drug reimbursement rates, incentives tied to patient co-pays, and rules regarding pharmacy networks can profoundly affect pharmacy access — and thus patient health — in significant ways.



The second component relates to the need to expand patient access to quality health care through services — beyond dispensing prescriptions — delivered at our convenient locations. There are many opportunities on this front, and the momentum needed to make these changes is beginning to build.



One example is the introduction of the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (S. 314 and H.R. 592), which would open state-approved pharmacist services to Medicare patients in underserved communities. This legislation would improve access to services like vaccination screening and delivery, chronic disease management, and preventive screenings like glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol tests.



Participants in NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill are excited to talk with you face-to-face about these and other issues — just as pharmacists assist your constituents on a face-to-face basis every day. We look forward to working with you to advance health care for all patients and the nation as a whole.


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