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Diabetes testing supplies bill endorsed by NCPA
January 17th, 2014
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association has voiced its support for the Diabetic Testing Supply Access Act (S. 1935), sponsored by Sens. Jerry Moran (R., Kan.) and John Thune (R., S.D.).
NCPA said the new Senate legislation, introduced Thursday, would permit community pharmacies to provide same-day delivery of diabetes testing supplies to Medicare recipients.
Since July 1, community pharmacies have been banned from delivering diabetes testing supplies to beneficiaries, including those who are homebound or in long-term care or assisted living facilities, according to NCPA.
The association noted that the restriction has concerned dozens of members of Congress and community pharmacists because of its inconvenience and potential harm to patients. What's more, expense isn't a factor because the costs of diabetes suppliers to Medicare are equivalent whether they are delivered the same day by local pharmacies or through the mail.
"This winter has already brought sub-zero temperatures and perilous traveling and walking conditions to parts of the country," NCPA chief executive officer B. Douglas Hoey said in a statement. "Pharmacists have reported cases of seniors going out in hazardous circumstances and risking a debilitating fall or other accident to obtain diabetes testing supplies because the local pharmacy can no longer deliver them.
"Now more than ever, Congress should scrap this indefensible delivery ban," Hoey stated. "We thank Sens. Moran and Thune for their leadership on this issue and for introducing this budget-neutral legislation."
The Senate bill follows similar legislation in the House of Representatives, the Diabetic Testing Supply Access Act (H.R. 2845), introduced last July by Rep. Peter Welch (D.,Vt.).