Pharmacists CAN Play A Valuable Role in Health Care Reform

May 15, 2009

(As submitted to the Washington Post)

To the Editor:

To learn from a real community pharmacist about health care savings (Tom Toles cartoon, May 14), President Obama - or anyone else, for that matter - can take a short trip to Grubbs Pharmacy on Capitol Hill. There, one can see the disease and medication therapy management programs that Grubbs and the more than 23,000 other independent community pharmacies across the country provide their patients every day. These programs, and others like them, can play a vital part in helping keep patients well through the best use of their medications. As a nation, we spend about $300 billion annually on medications and nearly as much fixing problems caused by their misuse. Pharmacists can play a valuable role in health care reform to improve patient care while lowering costs by ensuring proper drug utilization and promoting the use of generic products, when appropriate. The savings are there for the taking.

Bruce T. Roberts
Executive Vice President and CEO
National Community Pharmacists Association
Alexandria, VA

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