NACDS, NCPA Praise Successful Legislative Efforts to Ensure Pharmacy Choice for TRICARE Beneficiaries


Alexandria, Va. - Dec. 22, 2010

The following is a joint statement issued today by National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, and National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Executive Vice President and CEO Kathleen Jaeger in response to a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, passed by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, that freezes retail pharmacy co-pays in the TRICARE program:

"Today's vote directing the Department of Defense not to increase retail pharmacy co-payments is a victory for TRICARE beneficiaries' choice as to where they fill their prescriptions. For another year the co-payment system will respect the choice of TRICARE patients who prefer to obtain their pharmacy services from community pharmacies, and prohibit the Department of Defense from creating incentives for patients to use mail.

"Community pharmacists are among the most patient accessible healthcare professionals and play a key role in assisting patients to use their medications safely and to maximize medication value. According to the New England Healthcare Institute, more than $290 billion a year is wasted on the improper use of prescription drugs. The co-payment freeze ensures that our men and women serving in the military, their families, and veterans, will continue to have the freedom to choose the pharmacy of their choice.

"We want to thank the leadership in Congress for their efforts, especially Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.). Community pharmacists share their concerns over rising healthcare costs and look forward to working with Congress and Pentagon officials to rein in TRICARE's expenses."

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) represents traditional drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchants with pharmacies – from regional chains with four stores to national companies. Chains operate 39,000 pharmacies, and employ more than 2.7 million employees, including 118,000 full-time pharmacists. They fill nearly 2.6 billion prescriptions annually, which is more than 72 percent of annual prescriptions in the United States. The total economic impact of all retail stores with pharmacies transcends their $830 billion in annual sales. Every $1 spent in these stores creates a ripple effect of $1.96 in other industries, for a total economic impact of $1.57 trillion, equal to 11 percent of GDP. NACDS represents 137 chains that operate these pharmacies in neighborhoods across America, and NACDS members also include more than 900 pharmacy and consumer packaged goods suppliers and service providers, and over 60 international members from 23 countries. For more information about NACDS, visit www.NACDS.org.

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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