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Pharmacy advocate to issue State of the Union response
January 27th, 2014
ARLINGTON, Va. – President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday evening will be answered by a longtime pharmacy supporter.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.)
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores said Monday that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.) was enlisted by congressional leaders late last week to deliver the Republican response to the president's annual speech.
McMorris Rodgers, described by NACDS as "a consistently stalwart pharmacy advocate," introduced the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013 with Reps. Ron Kind (D., Wis.), Lee Terry (R., Neb.) and Bruce Bradley (D., Iowa) to expand access to medication therapy management (MTM) services for seniors in the Medicare program.
More than half of patients don't take their medications properly, with seniors particularly vulnerable, McMorris Rodgers noted when she sponsored the legislation last March.
"These health risks, and the exorbitant costs associated with them, can be substantially reduced if MTM is expanded," she said at the time.
"It is significant that pharmacy issues are prominently on the radar of a rising political star," NACDS stated, adding that McMorris Rodgers chairs the House Republican Conference and is the top-ranking Republican woman in Congress. She also has participated in the association's signature advocacy event, NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill. This year's RxImpact Day is scheduled for March 12 and 13 in Washington, D.C.
NACDS also has generated pharmacy support on the Hill via its RxImpact Pharmacy Tours, in which lawmakers and/or their staff visit a community pharmacy to see firsthand the expanded role that pharmacists are playing in the nation's health care system.
Earlier this month, a staffer for Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Pa.) toured Klingensmith's Drug Stores, and a representative for Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) met with the pharmacy team of a ShopRite supermarket in Cherry Hill, N.J. In additional, staff members of the entire Idaho congressional delegation toured an Albertsons pharmacy in Boise, Idaho.
And late last week, NACDS participated in the annual U.S. Senate Health Fair, which offers thousands of Senate employees — including Hill staffers, Capitol Hill Police officers and other employees — an opportunity to receive health advice and care. The association coordinated an exhibit at the fair to demonstrate the value of the pharmacist-patient relationship and how pharmacists help patients take their medication correctly and provide other key health services.