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Pharmacy delivers message at NACDS RxImpact Day

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Capitol Hill lobbying push draws hundreds of participants

NACDS vice chairman Martin Otto of H-E-B (left) with Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.)

Rep. Brett Guthrie (R., Ky) meeting with the NACDS Board of Directors, with Hy-Vee's Randy Edeker and Thrifty White's Bob Narveson seated at left.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) meets with the NACDS Board of Directors.

National Journal's Ron Fournier at the RxImpact Day welcome dinner.

NACDS chairman Randy Edeker of Hy-Vee speaking at the RxImpact Day welcome dinner.

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WASHINGTON — Nearly 400 pharmacy advocates from 43 states converged on Capitol Hill for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ annual RxImpact Day grassroots lobbying drive.

NACDS said the advocates — who include pharmacists, pharmacy executives, pharmacy students and others — will meet with about 85% of the U.S. Congress during the two-day event, held March 16 and 17. They will discuss issues in providing pharmacy care and highlight the role that pharmacists play in the nation’s health care system.

Now in its eighth year, RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill has again drawn strong participation from the pharmacy community, NACDS noted. Forty-two percent of attendees have not attended a prior RxImpact Day, and 31% of NACDS chain member companies are represented at the event, with chain personnel participation up 5% from last year. In addition, 43 colleges and schools of pharmacy are represented, the highest level yet, the association said.

The first day of RxImpact Day also featured the presentation of awards. Steve McCann, vice president of pharmacy for Supervalu Inc., won the 2016 NACDS RxImpact Key Contact of the Year Award. NACDS said McCann demonstrated exceptional commitment to the RxImpact Key Contact program, in which advocates become a go-to source of pharmacy information for certain members of Congress and engage in grassroots events with them. NACDS said McCann also completed the RxImpact Key Contact Plus training program, the highest level of advocacy training.

Mike Duteau, vice president of business development and strategic relations at Kinney Drugs Inc., and Daniel Miller, senior vice president of pharmacy operations for Rite Aid Corp., were recognized for superior leadership within the Chairman’s Inner Circle on behalf of the NACDS Political Action Committee. The bipartisan NACDS-PAC supports pro-patient, pro-pharmacy congressional candidates. The Chairman’s Inner Circle includes senior representatives from NACDS member companies who engage with NACDS-PAC at a level of exceptional leadership.

And Arathi Pillay of the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy won the 2016 NACDS RxImpact Student Ambassador Award for her published articles that depicted the power of her participation in last year’s RxImpact “U” Academy, a component of the RxImpact Day event for student pharmacists.

“The awards presented at NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill send the clear message that grassroots advocacy and political engagement are essential for pharmacy patient care,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said in a statement. “We always knew that bringing these white-coated pharmacists to Capitol Hill would send a powerful message. The fact is that this annual event also is creating an opportunity to recognize those who go above and beyond to tell pharmacy’s story to elected officials.”

Ron Fournier, senior political columnist for National Journal, also delivered remarks Wednesday evening at the RxImpact Day Welcome Dinner.

Attesting to the recognition that RxImpact Day has garnered, a statement on the advocacy event from U.S. Rep. David Loebsack (D., Iowa) was published this week in the Congressional Record.

“This is a special day where we recognize pharmacy’s contribution to the American health care system,” Loebsack commented. “Patients have always relied on their local pharmacist to meet their health care needs. The local pharmacist is a trusted, highly accessible healthcare provider deeply committed to providing the highest quality care in the most efficient manner possible.”


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