Retail News Breaks
NACDS officials turn spotlight on Rx adherence
July 9th, 2009
Rep. John Shadegg (R, Ariz.) addressed medication adherence in a panel.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Officials from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores this week made the case for the pivotal role that community pharmacy can play in helping patients follow their medication regimens and, in turn, fostering health care reform.
Known as adherence, the correct use of prescription drugs can help improve patient health and rein in long-term health care costs, according to NACDS.
Carol Kelly, senior vice president of government affairs and public policy at NACDS, addressed congressional leaders Thursday at an event in Washington, D.C. Speaking before the Ripon Society, a nonprofit, public policy group, Kelly urged pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policy in health care reform legislation this year, citing fair Medicaid reimbursement for pharmacy and the need to expand access to medication therapy management (MTM).
“[Pharmacy is] the face of neighborhood health care and a primary source of health care for many Americans, especially in rural and inner city areas,” Kelly said at the event.
Rep. John Shadegg (R, Ariz.) also participated on the panel with Kelly.
“Medication adherence is an important solution to help keep skyrocketing health care costs down,” commented NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson. “NACDS is actively engaged in the health care debate — both in Washington and across the country — and will continue to urge lawmakers to advance pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policies that advance pharmacy and the patients they serve.”
Anderson also highlighted adherence in addressing the Florida Pharmacy Association at its annual meeting this week. He noted that poor adherence has been estimated to impose $177 billion annually in direct and indirect costs, ranging from preventable emergency room visits and treatment of chronic conditions to lost productivity.
“We cannot expect members of Congress — who need to focus on many, many issues — to be 100% fluent in the language of pharmacy,” stated Anderson. “But for the health of patients, for the vitality and even survival of pharmacy, and for the sustainability of the health care system, they must know at least one word. And that is adherence. We must take it upon ourselves to tell the story of pharmacy’s direct role in improving it — and in improving health care quality, access and affordability with it.”
Earlier this week, NACDS announced that Anderson sent a letter to Rep. Bart Gordon (D, Tenn.) to express the association's support for his introduction of the Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act 2009 (bill H.R. 2923).
“The chain pharmacy industry recognizes the importance of addressing the serious problem of illicit methamphetamine production and abuse. In fact, prior to the introduction of state and federal legislation, the majority of chain pharmacies had already taken voluntary, proactive steps to reduce the theft and illegitimate use of products that contain methamphetamine precursors such as pseudoephedrine and ephedrine,” Anderson said in the letter. “Pharmacies took these steps to help prevent drug diversion and ensure patient safety, despite the possibility that instituting such barriers could lead to consumer complaints and decreased sales.
“NACDS is proud to support legislation that will update federal law to ensure that entities that sell pseudoephedrine and ephedrine products to consumers self-certify with the Drug Enforcement Administration and will help ensure that noncertified entities cannot access pseudoephedrine and ephedrine products,” he added. “These provisions will help prevent the diversion of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine products for illegitimate purposes while still allowing consumers with legitimate needs to access these necessary medications.”
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