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Pharmacists, Patient Advocates Urge Congress to Enact Pharmacy Choice in Medicare

June 10, 2014

130 Organizations Sign Open Letter Supporting “Any Willing Pharmacy” Policy

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a letter to Congress, 130 pharmacist, patient advocacy and business organizations expressed “unified support” for giving Medicare beneficiaries more convenient access to discounted or “preferred” copays at independent community pharmacies willing to accept the terms and conditions of Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs).

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“Right now, seniors in many communities face either trips of 20 miles or more to reach a ‘preferred’ pharmacy or must assume higher copays to use a local pharmacy they have maintained a trusted relationship with for many years,” the organizations wrote.

Signatories of the letter include key national, regional and state voices, including:

    --  Patient advocates (Caregiver Action Network, HealthHIV, National
        Alliance for Caregiving, National Rural Health Association, National
        Grange and U.S. Pain Foundation)
    --  Community pharmacists (National Community Pharmacists Association,
        American Pharmacists Association, and many other leading pharmacist and
        pharmacy organizations)
    --  Other health care providers (AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health,
        McKesson Corp.)
    --  Businesses (Food Marketing Institute, National Federation of Independent
        Business, and National Grocers Association)

“You have heard of the difficulties beneficiaries are facing when trying to find a pharmacy close by and in their preferred network, especially in rural and underserved communities,” they said in the letter. “We believe that this is simply not right.”

In addition, the letter noted:

    --  Widespread, bipartisan support exists from 30+ members of Congress and
        numerous consumer groups for applying the "any willing pharmacy"
        standard to "preferred pharmacy" networks.
    --  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to express
        strong support for the policy and emphatically reject arguments that it
        would raise costs.
    --  Millions of Americans currently lack sufficient access to basic health
        care services.
    --  Congress should "address this critical issue without delay."

The following is a complete list of organizations that have signed the letter to date. The letter is posted at www.ncpanet.org/pharmacychoice and additional signatures are expected to be added as more organizations convey their support.

Access-Rx America

Alabama Pharmacy Association

Alaska Pharmacists Association

Alliance of Independent Pharmacists of Texas

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

American Pharmacies

American Pharmacists Association

American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc.

American Pharmacy Services Corp.

American Society of Consultant Pharmacists

AmerisourceBergen

Arizona Pharmacy Association

Arkansas Pharmacists Association

Association of Community Pharmacists

Association of Indian Pharmacists in America

Astrup Drug, Inc.

Auburn Pharmacies

Bartell Drugs

Brookshire Grocery Company

California Pharmacists Association

Cardinal Health

CARE Pharmacies Cooperative, Inc.

Caregiver Action Network

Community Pharmacy Prescription Network

Compliant Pharmacy Alliance Cooperative

Connecticut Pharmacists Association

DiCello & Associates, Inc.

Discount Drug Mart, Inc.

Doc’s Drugs Ltd.

Drug Emporium

Fagen Pharmacy

Federation of Pharmacy Networks

Florida Pharmacy Association

Food Marketing Institute

Fruth Pharmacy

Georgia Pharmacy Association

GeriMed

Gerould’s Professional Pharmacy

Good Day Pharmacy

GPhA Academy of Independent Pharmacy

Guardian Pharmacy

Hartig Drug

H. D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co.

HealthHIV

HealthPlan Data Solutions LLC

Hi-School Pharmacy Inc.

HomeTown Pharmacy Inc.

Idaho State Pharmacy Association

Illinois Pharmacists Association

Independent Pharmacy Alliance

Independent Pharmacy Cooperative

Innovatix, LLC

International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists

Kansas Independent Pharmacy Service Corp.

Kansas Pharmacists Association

Kentucky Pharmacists Association

Keystone Pharmacy Purchasing Alliance

King Kullen Pharmacies

Kinney Drugs, Inc.

Klingensmith’s Drug Stores

Lewis Drug

Louisiana Independent Pharmacies Association

Mallatt’s Homecare Pharmacy

Maryland Pharmacists Association

Massachusetts Pharmacists Association

McKesson Corp.

Medicenter Pharmacies

Merwin LTC Pharmacy

Michigan Pharmacists Association

Minnesota Pharmacists Association

Mississippi Independent Pharmacies Association

Mississippi Pharmacists Association

Missouri Pharmacy Association

Montana Pharmacy Association

Morris & Dickson Co. LLC

Mutual Wholesale Drug Company

National Alliance for Caregiving

National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations

National Association of Chain Drug Stores

National Community Pharmacists Association

National Federation of Independent Business

National Grange

National Grocers Association

National Indian Pharmacy Association

National Rural Health Association

Navarro Discount Pharmacies

Nebraska Pharmacists Association

New Jersey Pharmacists Association

New Mexico Pharmacists Association

Niemann Foods, Inc.

North Dakota Pharmacists Association

North Dakota Retail Association

Northeast Pharmacy Service Corporation

Ohio Pharmacists Association

Osborn Drugs, Inc.

PAAS National

Pace Alliance

Partners in Pharmacy Cooperative

PBA Health

PCCA

Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association

Pharmacists Society of the State of New York

Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency

Pharmacy First

Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma, Inc.

Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin

Philadelphia Association of Retail Druggists

QualityCare Pharmacies

Rochester Drug Cooperative, Inc.

RxPlus Pharmacies

RxPreferred Benefits

Sav Mor Pharmacies

Smith Drug Company

South Carolina Pharmacy Association

South Dakota Retailers Association

Southern Pharmacy Cooperative

Tennessee Pharmacists Association

Texas Pharmacy Association

Texas Pharmacy Business Council

Third Party Station

Thrifty White Pharmacy

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

U.S. Pain Foundation

Value Drug Company

Vermont Retail & Grocers Association

Virginia Pharmacists Association

Virginia Retail Merchants Association

West Virginia Pharmacists Association

Wholesale Alliance, LLC

Wilkinson Pharmacy, Inc.

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 an $88.7 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 300,000 individuals, including over 62,000 pharmacists. To learn more, go to www.ncpanet.org, visit facebook.com/commpharmacy, or follow NCPA on Twitter @Commpharmacy.

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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association


Source: PR Newswire



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