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 other Friday.

If not you, then who? | NCPA Executive Update | September 13, 2019

by NCPA | Sep 13, 2019

Dear Colleague,

Doug Hoey

Running "for fun"? Surely if our ancestors were beamed to the present day they would think we’ve lost our minds. Yet, this weekend I will be running "for fun" in the Travis Manion Foundation’s 9/11 Heroes Run.

On April 29, 2007, 1st Lt. Travis Manion was serving with his fellow Marines in Iraq, when he was ambushed and killed by a sniper. Before being re-deployed in 2006, his brother-in-law joked that if Manion tripped and broke his leg, he would have a reason not to have to return to Iraq. Manion’s reply was, "If not me, then who?"

I had not run a 5K since the 1990s before coming across this event a few years ago. Remembering the heroes from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is what initially caught my eye. And, wearing the slogan of the Travis Manion foundation, "If not me, then who?" on the T-shirt from my race swag serves as inspiration in my NCPA work. In many instances, NCPA embarks on missions that are lonely and with a task that is daunting, but, if not NCPA, then who? Who will speak up for pharmacy small businesses? Who will credibly call out the PBMs for the effect they have on higher drug costs and compromised patient care? Who will help lead changes to the pharmacy payment model, emphasizing practice transformation through CPESN® USA? The answer is NCPA. But we are not alone.

Last month while members of Congress were home during the congressional summer recess, NCPA’s "Dog Days of DIR" asked community pharmacy to keep the heat turned up. We asked members to shoot short videos to send via social media to their members of Congress. Many pharmacy owners stepped up, including David Cippel of Pennsylvania, who sent this video on Aug. 24. If not them, then who? Click this link to view a video montage of the best videos from NCPA members.

The current fate of pharmacy DIRs resides with the 28 members (15 Rs; 13 Ds) of the Senate Finance Committee. NCPA and other pharmacy groups canvassed Capitol Hill offices for their support, and we asked you to reach out to your members of Congress on the Senate Finance Committee. The results were outstanding—23 members of the committee signed a letter asking the White House to support stopping retroactive pharmacy clawbacks (aka pharmacy DIR fees). For all of those pharmacy owners who talked with your senator (or senators for those in Ohio and Pennsylvania), if not you, then who?

Fixing pharmacy DIRs is just one important component to changing the pharmacy payment model, but it alone is not enough. Pricing pressures on prescription products are not going away and pharmacists must also be recognized for the value we provide to health care. The local pharmacy networks of CPESN are pharmacy’s best bet to stop fighting the same old fights and transforming into something that allows pharmacists to be recognized for practicing at their full scope. CPESN luminaries are the trail blazers making the future of pharmacy possible. Three luminaries were recently recognized as finalists for CPESN Luminary of the Year: John Croce from CPESN Upstate New York, Alison Haas from CPESN Ohio, and Staci Hubert from Nebraska Enhanced Services Pharmacies. Thanks to the three of you and to all of the CPESN luminaries. If not you, then who?

Twenty "Flip the Pharmacy" grant recipients were announced last week. These recipients have committed to coaching CPESN-participating pharmacies in their state to move from a point-in-time transaction business to a model that is integrated with other health care providers. The Community Pharmacy Foundation Board made the decision to make a major contribution to make Flip the Pharmacy possible. If not them, then who?

Many lessons can be learned from the short life of Travis Manion. I’m pleased to participate in a small way in the "fun run." His message of "If not me, then who?" is a reminder and an inspiration and one I wanted to share with you. After all, if not me, then who?


Doug Hoey