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In a statement to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) emphasized the commitment of NACDS and the chain pharmacy industry to partner with policymakers and others to improve quality and lower costs in the healthcare delivery system.
The committee held a hearing today titled “Identifying Opportunities for Health Care Delivery System Reform: Lessons from the Front Line.”
In its statement, NACDS stressed the value of community pharmacies in helping to improve patient health and lower healthcare costs through medication therapy management (MTM).
“Community retail pharmacies are at the front line in the healthcare system, interacting with patients on a daily basis,” said NACDS. “Community pharmacists are uniquely qualified through their comprehensive education and training to significantly reduce the problem of poor medication adherence. We are convinced that MTM is a key way to vastly improve health outcomes and reduce costs by ensuring that individuals receive the maximum health benefit from their prescription medicine.”
NACDS also emphasized the importance of efforts to expand the ability of pharmacists to administer vaccinations in the Medicare Part D program and increase the utilization of generic drugs as additional ways to improve health and reduce costs.
“Currently all 50 states allow pharmacists to provide certain immunizations,” NACDS pointed out. “Encouraging Medicare beneficiaries and others to obtain vaccinations at their neighborhood pharmacy is a cost effective and convenient way to prevent illness and reduce healthcare costs, Pharmacies have long promoted generic drugs as safe, cost-effective alternatives for many patients. Community pharmacy has a higher rate of generic dispensing—73 percent--than any other practice setting.”
NACDS represents traditional drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchants with pharmacies – from regional chains with four stores to national companies.