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NACDS’ Steve Anderson meets with HHS chief Tom Price

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WASHINGTON — Steve Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, took part in a roundtable today with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

NACDS said Anderson was invited to the session, part of a series of events by HHS, to share information and policy ideas regarding the affordability, accessibility and availability of prescription drugs for patients.

HHS Secretary Tom Price

HHS Secretary Tom Price

Other stakeholders at the session included representatives of the health care provider, pharmaceutical distribution, hospital, pharmacist and pharmacy communities.

“NACDS appreciates the opportunity to share pharmacy’s insights on this important issue for patients, for the industry and for the entire nation,” Anderson said in a statement. “We shared with Secretary Price the finding that eight in 10 respondents to a recent survey said that pharmacists are credible sources of information about how to save money on prescription drugs — the highest rating of health care professionals in a poll conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS. This is a result of pharmacists’ extensive work with patients to lower prescription costs through the use of generic drugs, to navigate insurance plans, and to participate in pharmacy drug discount programs.”

In addition, he said, NACDS submitted for the record its positions on such issues as more transparency for direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees in Medicare Part D with; increasing medication adherence via medication therapy management (MTM); boosting the use of cost-effective generic drugs and biosimilar medications; closing loopholes in the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program; and ways to make the dynamics of drug pricing clearer for consumers, the federal government and drug supply chain stakeholders — with a goal of reining in drug costs.

“We also described the important role of medicines and the important role of pharmacy-based services in helping patients take their medications as prescribed, and what this means for health outcomes and health care economics,” Anderson added.

Additional events will get the viewpoints of patient groups, insurers, providers, manufacturers and thought leaders, NACDS said.

Earlier this year, NACDS launched its “Access Agenda” initiative, which spotlights pharmacy’s efforts to engage on challenging health policy issues.


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