ARLINGTON, Va. – National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) president and CEO Steven Anderson issued the following statement as the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on President Joe Biden’s nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure for administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Andrea Joan Palm for deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
“NACDS is extremely enthusiastic about President Biden’s nominations of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure for CMS Administrator and Andrea Joan Palm for HHS Deputy Secretary.
“We look forward to supporting and urging their work in critical areas that include, among other priorities:
- confronting healthcare disparities that have been magnified during the pandemic
- enhancing COVID-19 vaccine allocations to pharmacies so they can leverage more of their capacity to turn doses into vaccination appointments – efficiently, equitably and conveniently
- ensuring preparedness by leveraging pharmacies’ vaccination, testing and other services for a sustainable approach to healthcare delivery and public health as the nation confronts this virus and other threats in the future
- achieving direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fee reform and standardized pharmacy performance measures in Part D – which remain long overdue for confronting increased out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors, for metrics that drive quality healthcare, and for fairness and viability for pharmacies
- sustaining the 340B program that remains essential for some of our nation’s most vulnerable populations, and preventing threats to that program
- and the array of pivotal issues that relate to healthcare access, equity, quality, sustainability and affordability.
“From the earliest days of the pandemic, pharmacies remained open to meet the needs of their communities, and went on to make the commitments and investments necessary to ramp up COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. In addition, pharmacies have served as the face of neighborhood healthcare since well before the challenges of this particular pandemic. Now, we stand ready to work with HHS and CMS on the issues of vital importance to the health, wellness, livelihoods and restoration of the dreams of all Americans.”