NCPA Responds to President Obama's State of the Union Address by Reiterating Priorities to Strengthen the Role of Pharmacists in Health Care

Alexandria, Va. - January 28, 2010

Last night President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union Address to Congress, followed by a response from Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA). Both elected leaders discussed the issue of health care reform. In response, Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) executive vice president and CEO, issued the following statement: 

"While the future and composition of health care reform this year is still an open question, both President Barack Obama and Governor Bob McDonnell reiterated in their speeches the need to find solutions that work for the American people. Community pharmacists have been engaged in this reform process from the beginning because, if properly utilized, we have been shown to help improve health outcomes and reduce costs. Whatever is decided by politicians in Washington in the coming days or weeks, community pharmacists remain eager to work constructively with both parties to find legislative remedies that improve health care in this country. 

"Four of our most pressing concerns were addressed in the health care reform bills that passed by the House and Senate. It's still imperative that Congress:

  • Create a fair reimbursement system for Medicaid generic prescription drugs
  • Exempt pharmacists from unnecessary accreditation requirements for the selling of medical supplies to seniors;
  • Bring transparency to certain aspects of how the costly administrators of prescription drug plans, pharmacy benefit managers, operate so that plan sponsors, patients and pharmacists can make more informed decisions; and
  • Continue to strengthen programs like medication therapy management that have already proven their benefits to patients.
Those are the right prescriptions to ensure pharmacists are contributing to our health system in a robust and sustainable fashion." 

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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