Election of Pharmacist to Congress Puts Spotlight on Provider Status
WASHINGTON, DC — Tonight, Buddy Carter became the only pharmacist currently elected to Congress, winning Georgia’s First Congressional District.
“It is my great pleasure to congratulate fellow pharmacist and Georgia State Senator Buddy Carter on his election to Congress,” said APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Thomas E. Menighan. “With a pharmacist in Congress, APhA is confident that our nation’s health care policy will turn toward providing consumers with access and coverage for pharmacists’ patient care services.”
Menighan continued, “With more than 270 million Americans visiting a pharmacy every week pharmacists have a unique and important role to play in public health. APhA and pharmacists nationwide are excited to have a voice in Congress to advocate for the profession and our patients.”
Carter’s election comes at a time when pharmacists are seeking greater federal recognition as members of the health care team. More than 100 members of Congress have co-sponsored H.R. 4190, bipartisan legislation to increase patient access to health care by covering pharmacists’ services in medically underserved communities under Medicare. As medication experts, pharmacists can increase patient access to health care, improve quality and outcomes and decrease costs. Yet, unlike midwives, chiropractors and dieticians, pharmacists and their services are not recognized under federal law.
In an August interview with APhA, Carter stated “It’s especially important while our healthcare system is undergoing dramatic changes to have leaders [who] have been in the trenches on healthcare issues before and [who] understand the importance of the relationship between a healthcare service provider and the patient.”
About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com