Pharmacy to make its mark at NACDS RxImpact Day

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First time annual lobbying drive will reach all of Congress

ARLINGTON, Va. — Next month, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores will set an all-time high for reach and participation when pharmacy advocates head to Washington, D.C., for the 2018 NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill.

NACDS said that at its 10th annual RxImpact Day lobbying drive, to be held March 7 and 8, more than 400 pharmacy advocates — including pharmacists, pharmacy executives, pharmacy students, pharmacy educators and others — will reach all members of Congress, a first for the event.

This year’s NACDS RxImpact Day will also mark other milestones: pharmacy advocates from all 50 states, a record 48 colleges and schools of pharmacy represented, and a new high of 40% of NACDS member chains participating. The association said these chains account for nearly 75% of all pharmacies operated by NACDS member companies.

The high participation level signals a strong return for RxImpact Day, which was canceled last year when a stronger-than-expected winter storm struck the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

“Members of Congress are always interested to hear that nine in 10 Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy, that there is an NACDS member pharmacy in every congressional district, and that in prior years NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill has reached 90% of congressional offices,” NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in a statement. “This year, for the first time, pharmacy advocates from all 50 states are coming to Washington, D.C., for congressional meetings, and we are going to reach the office of every member of the U.S. Congress. The NACDS membership continues to take its public policy engagement to a new level.”

NACDS noted that RxImpact Day has seen steady growth in participation and reach since the inaugural pharmacy advocacy event in June 2009. Total participation has risen by over 200%, and almost 60% of the nation’s colleges and schools of pharmacy have been represented. In addition, the number of Capitol Hill meetings has tripled, totaling 3,815 meetings over 10 years — enough to reach each congressional office more than seven times.

At the 2018 NACDS RxImpact Day, the association will recognize 15 of the nearly 70 “pioneers” who attended the first event in 2009 and will be on hand this year. Also to be honored are four pharmacy advocates who have attended every RxImpact Day. Winners of NACDS grassroots and political engagement awards will be announced as well.

Topics of discussion for pharmacy advocates will include direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fee reform, opioid abuse prevention legislation, enhancing Medicare patient access to pharmacist-provided services, TRICARE issues, and preserving patient access to pharmacy services in Medicaid and Medicare.

“It’s incredible to think that this event began with a small but dedicated group of ‘pioneers’ who thought we needed to tell pharmacy’s story better to lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Anderson added. “Our message is that NACDS members provide access to health and wellness every day and that NACDS members similarly provide access to health policy solutions. The incredible participation levels speak volumes in support of that message, and we look forward to an outstanding event.”


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