NCPA Commends Focus on Medication Adherence By National Consumers League and Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease

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Alexandria, Va. - May 11, 2011

Today two events were held related to a common theme embraced by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies it represents—promoting proper patient medication use (or "adherence"). Script Your Future—a large coalition of health industry groups that includes NCPA—was launched by National Consumers League (NCL)as a public education campaign to improve medication adherence mainly through an interactive website, at an event featuring Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA.

Separately, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, of which NCPA is also a national partner organization, explored medication therapy management and other private sector adherence solutions at an event featuring U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). This is in keeping with federal officials' search for ways to generate health care savings and better outcomes by focusing on improving adherence.

In response, NCPA Executive Vice President and CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following statement:

"Up to $290 billion is wasted annually on avoidable medication-related expenses, with a substantial percentage coming from patient non-adherence, according to NEHI. NCPA believes attention to patient adherence must become the standard of practice for pharmacists, and our hope is in five years actions taken by pharmacists will have resulted in measurable improvement in patient adherence.

"We also realize that this cannot be achieved by NCPA alone, so we reached out to schools of pharmacy to mentor the next generation of pharmacists who will shape the profession and positively affect medication adherence, linked arms with consumer groups who share our vision of healthier patients, and gained the attention of lawmakers on the added value community pharmacists provide in improving patient outcomes and impact they can have on lowering health care spending. That's why it was important to support the National Consumers League's Script Your Future campaign and the Partnerships to Fight Chronic Disease's efforts to engage the private sector in identifying solutions to improve medication adherence.

"We need to make sure the government recognizes the positive contributions independent community pharmacists can provide as clinically trained medication experts when implementing coordinated care models such as Accountable Care Organizations. That occurs by explaining why we are among the most trusted professionals, who manage their patients' medication therapies. Face-to-face interaction between pharmacists and patients provides tangible results such as with Medicare Part D's Medication Therapy Management program. We need to see a greater embrace of these types of policies across the public and private sectors, and will work tirelessly to make that happen."

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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