Community Pharmacists Press for PBM Reform During Packed Fly-In

Press Release
Article

On April 17 and 18, hundreds of independent community pharmacists came to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to participate in the National Community Pharmacists Association’s Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 22, 2024) – On April 17 and 18, hundreds of independent community pharmacists came to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to participate in the National Community Pharmacists Association’s Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In. The fly-in is an annual event, and this year’s took place at a time when Congress appears to be delaying reforms to pharmacy benefit manager-insurers, despite broad bipartisan support.

In his remarks at the event, Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) gave attendees his insights into what’s happening with PBM reform and how they could best press their policymakers for progress during their meetings on Capitol Hill. Community pharmacists then spoke with those making decisions central to the future of pharmacy about reimbursement issues and other challenges facing the industry as well as the important role independent pharmacy teams play in their communities and the many ways they help patients.

“Low reimbursements from PBM-insurers, the ‘DIR hangover,’ and other pressures are pushing some pharmacy owners ever closer to a breaking point,” said NCPA President Lea Wolsoncroft. “Many in Congress understand that, in theory, but this year’s fly-in was our opportunity to impress upon them what’s really at stake for their constituents if their local pharmacy shuts its doors and why PBM reform is needed now. Community pharmacy showed out in force, fighting for the future of our businesses and pushing Congress to finish doing its job for the patients we serve.”

Here’s a recap of NCPA’s 2024 Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In:

  • The event was at maximum capacity, drawing hundreds of community pharmacists from 40 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Community pharmacists visited more than 250 congressional offices for meetings with members of Congress or staffers. Because many meetings were attended by multiple pharmacists, the effect amounts to more than 1,000 interactions with members of Congress or their staff.
  • With patients’ access to pharmacy care in jeopardy, attendees urged Congress to act swiftly to finalize and pass PBM reform legislation that includes the Drug Price Transparency in Medicaid Act (H.R. 1613/S. 1038) and the Neighborhood Options for Patients Buying Medicines (NO PBMs) Act (H.R. 5400/S. 2436).
  • These efforts are aimed at increasing congressional support for transparency into PBM-insurers, fair and transparent Medicaid managed care pharmacy payments, and requiring “reasonable and relevant” Medicare Part D contract terms.

The next Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In is scheduled for April 30-May 1, 2025.

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Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing over 19,400 pharmacies that employ more than 230,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America's most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit www.ncpa.org

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