Lupin 2023

NACDS urges clarity that Americans maintain “PREP Act” pharmacy access beyond PHE

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ARLINGTON, Va. – National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and CEO Steven Anderson issued the following statement, upon the release of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Fact Sheet describing decision-making underway about implications of the May 11, 2023, expiration of the current Public Health Emergency (PHE):

steve anderson

Steven Anderson

“Most Americans do not lump pharmacy access with broader ‘pandemic policies.’ Americans expect to be able to visit their pharmacy for vaccinations, testing, and treatment. The federal government needs to make clear that pharmacy aspects of the PREP Act (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act) remain in place through October 2024. This will allow at least some time for states to enhance their laws – which we urge states to do without delay. It also will guard against avoidable disruptions, delays, and frustrations for those seeking care – particularly rural Americans and those from historically-excluded communities. Why risk uncertainty about the trusted and irreplaceable pharmacy access on which so many Americans rely?

“Meanwhile, we urge Congress to address another crucial missing link: establishing the reliable payment mechanisms that are part of the necessary infrastructure for pharmacy services. Tremendous progress was made in demonstrating widespread support for the bipartisan H.R. 7213 in the 117th Congress, and that legislation now should be passed and enacted.”

A poll by Morning Consult, commissioned by NACDS and conducted December 7-12, 2022, found that 64 percent of American adults – including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – believe “Learning the lessons of the pandemic means keeping in place policies that make it easier for patients to access services from pharmacists and other pharmacy team members – including vaccinations.” Among those 65 years and older, the level of support jumps to 77 percent.

Further, 86 percent of American adults say it is “very easy” or “somewhat easy” to access pharmacies – rating pharmacies highest for accessibility among all healthcare destinations tested.

About the poll, Anderson said: “The majority of every single demographic tested is in favor of keeping pharmacy access. That’s Republicans, Democrats, urban, rural, all races, all religions, all incomes. America is united on pharmacy access.”

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