Alexandria, Va. - Jan. 12, 2011
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has sent a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, responding to his request for input about the negative impact of current or proposed federal regulations and proposed solutions to lessen their burden. As the trade association representing independent community pharmacies, NCPA's letter focused on four regulations: competitive bidding for diabetes testing supplies, IRS 1099 reporting requirements, reduced access to over-the-counter (OTC) medicines through Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and limited access to the 340B drug discount program.
"Independent community pharmacies are on the frontline of America's health care system, and relish the opportunity to provide prescription drug services that improve patient outcomes and reduce costs," said Kathleen Jaeger, NCPA Executive Vice President and CEO. "Unfortunately, there are a series of regulations that, while well-intentioned, undermine patient access to cost-saving services and disadvantage the small businesses that provide this care.
"Federal programs like Medicare place a premium on patient access, and independent community pharmacies help by often being located in underserved rural and urban locales. So if burdensome regulations either limit or end their participation, then many patients may be left without a reasonable alternative," Jaeger added.
The specific problems and remedies include:
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent a $93 billion health-care marketplace, have more than 315,000 employees including 62,400 pharmacists, and dispense over 41% 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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