Top Lawmakers to Address Pharmacists at 2012 NCPA Legislative Conference



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Alexandria, Va. - April 18, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today announced its lineup of Congressional speakers for the upcoming 2012 Legislative Conference, which will bring community pharmacists and some of Washington's most senior decision-makers together to discuss pressing health care and pharmacy issues.

"We commend these members of Congress for supporting patients' access to independent community pharmacies and for their plans to speak during our Legislative Conference," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "Our members look forward to visiting them and talking face-to-face about how Medicaid cuts, MAC pricing, abusive audits, mandatory mail order, and other issues are hurting small business pharmacies and pharmacists' ability to serve their patients."

The current program for NCPA's 2012 Legislative Conference includes the following:

  • U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), co-founder of the first-ever Senate Community Pharmacy Caucus
  • U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is a sponsor of bills that would increase penalties for pharmacy robberies, expand MTM coverage, and address prescription drug shortages. He is also a strong supporter of increased generic utilization.
  • U.S. Representative Dave Camp (R-MI-4th), chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, which oversees Medicare, Social Security, health care costs, and taxes.
  • U.S. Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6th), senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health, which oversees Medicaid and the FDA.
  • U. S. Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL-18th), lead sponsor of H.R. 1936, which would allow seniors with Medicare to continue relying on their community pharmacy for diabetes testing supplies and face-to-face consultation on their proper use.
  • U. S. Representative Mike Ross (D-AR-4th), co-chair of the House Community Pharmacy Caucus, and serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health, which oversees Medicaid and the FDA.

The meeting will be held May 7-9, 2012 in Washington, DC. Participants receive up to 11.0 contact hours in continuing education (CE) credit. Registration information is available here.

In conjunction with the Conference, hundreds of community pharmacists will go to Capitol Hill for meetings in support of bipartisan pro-patient, pro-pharmacist policies, including:

  • The Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act (H.R. 1971 / S. 1058), legislation that would reduce costs and give patients greater choice, while addressing pressing pharmacy issues such as abusive auditing practices and confusion regarding maximum allowable costs (MACs).
  • The Medicare Pharmacy Transparency and Fair Auditing Act (H.R. 4215), which would require Part D plans to disclose MAC rates to pharmacies, as well as update them no less than every 7 days, as well as stop abusive PBM auditing practices.
  • The Preserving Our Hometown Independent Pharmacies Act (H.R. 1946), which would introduce greater choice and competition into the delivery of pharmacy services by enhancing the ability of independent community pharmacies to negotiate with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
  • The Medicare Access to Diabetes Supplies Act (H.R. 1936), which would allow seniors to continue receiving essential diabetes testing supplies, and expert counseling on their proper use, from independent community pharmacies.
  • Opposing short-sighted policies that would penalize TRICARE beneficiaries for accessing essential health services provided at community pharmacies. Further incentives for mail-order pharmacies would circumvent proven community pharmacy-provided services that have demonstrated savings by encouraging the utilization of more affordable medicines, detecting chronic illness early, and increasing patients' proper utilization of medicine as prescribed.

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. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists. Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

Ask Your Family Pharmacist TM