NCPA Urges Swift Congressional Action on â€˜Any Willing Pharmacy' Legislation
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (August 7, 2014) — Key congressional committee leaders were encouraged today to hold hearings on “any willing pharmacy” legislation by the National Community Pharmacists Association.
In letters to the leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, NCPA noted that H.R. 4577, the Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act, had earned the support of 59 cosponsors, including 12 members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and once again requested a congressional hearing on preferred networks.
In a separate letter to the Senate Finance Committee, a hearing was requested for after the August recess. Both letters highlighted the growth over the last four years of preferred networks that exclude participation of independent pharmacies.
“Most stakeholders would agree that Part D has been a success,” NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, wrote in the letters, “but with any law comes unintended consequences, and we know that Congress did not intend to create access problems or limit choice for Medicare patients who depend on the face-to-face counseling services that independent pharmacies have offered them for many years.” Mr. Hoey continued, “Again, we respectfully request that you schedule an oversight hearing after the Congressional Work Period has concluded to examine ways to ensure that small business owner pharmacies have the same opportunities to compete in the Medicare Part D program as do larger, corporate pharmacies.”
Support for “any willing pharmacy” legislation continues to grow. For example H.R. 4577 is popular with voters, supported by key consumer advocates and has strong, bipartisan backing from dozens of cosponsors.
Learn more at www.NCPAnet.org/pharmacychoice.