NACDS’ comments highlight the exceptional value of community pharmacy, in collaboration with other providers, to help advance the public health goals of the future. NACDS noted that community pharmacists are advanced healthcare professionals with doctorate-level educations and, as a result of their training and accessibility, pharmacists are playing an increasingly vital role in healthcare delivery. NACDS stated that “nine out of 10 Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy” noting that pharmacist interventions not only “improve patient health and outcomes, but also pharmacy care has been shown to save downstream healthcare dollars.”
“Community pharmacists are trusted and accessible healthcare professionals who serve as frontline providers of preventive and chronic care services. Through public policy, pharmacists can be empowered to practice to the full extent of their education, for the ultimate better of patients in communities nationwide,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steven Anderson. “NACDS is dedicated to helping advance population health and we appreciate this important opportunity to shape the HP2030 framework, which will set the public health agenda for the coming decade.”
NACDS stated that there is potential for better aligning HP2030 objectives with existing initiatives at HHS and strengthening objectives to improve patient health and patient outcomes. NACDS recommended additional preventive care and chronic disease measures and supporting accessible, patient-centered care across settings. NACDS pointed to “assessing how well the healthcare system is promoting providers, such as pharmacists, practicing at the top of their profession and fostering cross-sector collaboration” to improve patient outcomes and reduce overall costs.
NACDS also encouraged HHS to strengthen objectives, such as access to preventive services, increased immunization rates and chronic disease management. NACDS pointed out that “pharmacies have become a major access point for immunizations for many Americans and have been shown to be a cost-effective healthcare setting for providing immunization services because of their proximity and available hours for services offered.”
NACDS pledged to serve as an engaged and proactive partner in supporting the HP2030 development process and advancing the initiative’s important public health goals and objectives.