NCPA Commends FTC Delay of 'Red Flags Rule,' Urges Congress to Approve Pharmacy Exemption

Alexandria, VA - May 28, 2010

Today, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it would delay enforcement of the so-called "Red Flags Rule" from June 1, 2010 until December 31, 2010, in response to Congressional efforts to narrow the scope of the regulation. In response, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Executive Vice President and CEO Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, issued the following statement: 

"We commend the FTC and its Chairman Jon Leibowitz for taking this action today. This well-intentioned regulation is targeted at creditors and financial institutions, requiring them to have identity theft detection procedures in place. Unfortunately, as it stands today, the mandates would also apply to community pharmacies and other small health care providers, creating a significant administrative burden for entities that aren't primarily in the lending business. Specifically, community pharmacies that regularly extend credit to customers through patient charge accounts—sometimes known as house accounts—would be covered by the rule. 

"The FTC's moratorium on enforcement gives Congress additional time to approve an exemption for community pharmacies and others. For many months, NCPA has been urging Congress to enact a pharmacy exemption. While the U.S. House of Representatives approved such a measure, the U.S. Senate has not taken it up. Most recently, U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced S. 3416 to provide a small business exemption. NCPA will continue working with these and other Members of Congress in an effort to exempt community pharmacies from these requirements. 

"NCPA supports the FTC's action today and urges Congress to respond by swiftly approving a pharmacy exemption so that community pharmacists can focus on caring for their patients." 

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,700 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent an $88 billion health-care marketplace, employ over 65,000 pharmacists, and dispense over 40% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

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