Community Pharmacists Notch More Than 600 Congressional Visits During Annual Fly-In

For two days this week, hundreds of independent community pharmacists came to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to share with Congress real solutions to the problem of skyrocketing prescription drug costs.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 28, 2017) For two days this week, hundreds of independent community pharmacists came to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to share with Congress real solutions to the problem of skyrocketing prescription drug costs.

The purpose of the Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In, organized by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), was to urge Congress to support an agenda that will rein in pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) abuses and restore clarity and fairness to prescription drug pricing.

Here's a recap, by the numbers:

  • The event drew community pharmacists from 37 states.
  • Community pharmacists visited more than 250 Congressional offices for meetings with members of Congress or staffers; because many of those meetings were attended by multiple pharmacists, the effect amounts to more than 600 interactions with members of Congress or their staffs during the two-day event.
  • Their efforts are aimed at substantially increasing the number of congressional cosponsors for The Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Drug Spending Act, (S. 413 / H.R. 1038), The Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act (H.R. 1939), The Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act, (H.R. 1316), and The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (S. 109 / H.R. 592).
  • NCPA's new policymaker-focused resource, The PBM Story: What They Say, What They Do, and What Can Be Done About It, has been downloaded nearly 1,000 times.

"It's been a great week for community pharmacy patients," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "Independent pharmacists have been their advocates for real solutions to the problems of medication access and affordability they face. And it's clear that Congress is listening."

Hoey added that intensifying policymaker scrutiny of PBMs explains why some PBM-affiliated groups circulated propaganda attacking community pharmacists' policy recommendations in advance of the Fly-In this past week. "You know you've struck a nerve when big Fortune 100 companies decide that their best PR strategy is to attack the small business owners who are on the front lines of providing patient care. The PBMs' energies would be better spent mending their business model so that patients, pharmacies and plan sponsors are treated fairly."