NCPA Executive Update

NCPA Executive Update delivers insights on legislative, regulatory, policy, and industry developments from NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA, to NCPA members and pharmacy leaders every Friday.

Help a PBM warrior | NCPA Executive Update | April 29, 2016

by NCPA | Apr 29, 2016

April 29, 2016

Why He Cares and You Should Too

Dear Colleague,

Doug Hoey

Even though there are 435 members of Congress, one person can make a difference. Doug Collins is a member of the House of Representatives from Georgia. And, he has been a stalwart defender of community pharmacy. Watch for yourself.

Collins is not a pharmacist and doesn't have a pharmacy background, but he grew up in the Congressional District he now represents (in the northeast part of the state), and he knows his pharmacist. He tells the personal story of his local independent pharmacist helping him sort out his mother's medication during an emergency situation. He also talks about how his local pharmacist has explained to him the one-sided business relationship between pharmacies and PBMs, which Collins has said "just isn't right."

Why is Collins a supporter of community pharmacy? The recipe of his positive personal experiences and his firsthand view of what the local pharmacy means to the community are definitely important ingredients.

But, neither of those factors by themselves would likely have been enough to light his fuse. The match that did that was the outreach by other community pharmacists in his 9th Congressional District who shared with him the challenges, mostly caused by PBMs, in their pharmacy. Those pharmacists live, work, and pay taxes in Collins' district. They have a connection and a relationship with Collins that any out of town lobbyist in a spiffy 3-piece suit cannot rival.

Collins has addressed the House floor in support of community pharmacy. He has spoken up in hearings on our behalf. He has called out the PBMs for their business practices. He has introduced MAC legislation on behalf of community pharmacies.

Collins, of course, is not the only lawmaker advocating for his constituents by standing up for his local community pharmacies. However, he has a tough Republican primary election coming up May 24 where he is being challenged by a former member of Congress.

Legislation is not the answer to solve all of pharmacy's problems, but considering Uncle Sam is pharmacy's biggest customer by far, it's more important than ever to have as many friends in Congress as possible.

If you agree, consider sending a contribution to the Collins campaign at www.collinsleads.com. It's rare that I make a request for an individual candidate—I think this is the second time in the six years I have been writing Executive Update. The other time was for Buddy Carter, also of Georgia and the first pharmacy owner elected to Congress. However, I've sent in my contribution to the Collins campaign, and I'm asking you to consider doing the same.

No matter your politics or party affiliation, community pharmacy needs more people like Doug Collins in Congress. Let's help him get re-elected.

Best,

Doug Hoey

P.S.

Don't forget to attend the Congressional Pharmacy Summit May 24-25. Register now on the NCPA website or by calling 800-544-7447.