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NACDS notes pharmacy's role in State of the Union prelude
January 25th, 2011
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores spotlighted pharmacy services as a bipartisan solution to rein in health care costs and improve health outcomes in a statement before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to Congress.
Health care stands to be a key topic of President Obama's address at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday night, with Republican lawmakers continuing their push to repeal the health care reform law, a major component of his agenda coming into office.
Cost remains a key focus of the health reform debate, and NACDS continues to trumpet the pivotal role that community pharmacy can play in the nation's health care system to help achieve that end.
"As President Obama prepares to give his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress this evening, this is an important opportunity to continue to urge Congress to look to pharmacy as a solution in improving patient health and curbing health care costs," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in the statement.
Anderson pointed to the central role that pharmacists can fulfill in promoting medication adherence and, in turn, improving health care outcomes by reducing unnecessary medical visits, saving the nation billions of dollars.
"In a time when the economy is top of mind for many Americans, finding ways to curb health care costs is a bipartisan concern, and medication adherence can be a unifying solution," he explained. "Pharmacists have the unique skill set to help patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed. Through medication therapy management (MTM), which involves pharmacists counseling and educating patients on how to achieve medication adherence, pharmacists can help patients understand and manage their health care needs."
In addition, Anderson cited the neighborhood pharmacy's position as a convenient, accessible and trusted provider of health care services, which besides dispensing prescriptions includes preventive services such as blood pressure and cholesterol screenings and vaccinations, including flu shots.
“As one of the top three most trusted professionals for eight years in a row according to Gallup, pharmacists truly are the face of neighborhood health care," he stated. "We urge Congress to look to pharmacy to set the example in how proactive approaches to health can produce long-term results that benefit patients and the health care system. We look forward to working with lawmakers and the Obama administration on MTM programs that help to achieve medication adherence and put patients first."