Profession urges policymakers to increase patient access to health care through pharmacists.
WASHINGTON, DC — The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) announced today that pharmacists and student pharmacists across the country have sent more than 20,000 letters and emails to Congress to support current provider status legislation. This monumental outreach to policymakers has taken place in only three months and is the largest grassroots advocacy push on record in the Association’s 163 year history.
Promoting patient access to and coverage of pharmacists’ patient care services continues to be a leading legislative issue for the pharmacy profession. Last year, APhA launched the Pharmacists Provide Care campaign — a campaign dedicated to promoting patient access to health care through pharmacists’ patient care services. The campaign provides pharmacists, lawmakers and the public with tools and educational resources to promote and showcase pharmacists’ important role in increasing patient access to health care.
In late January, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act was introduced in both the U.S. House (H.R. 592) and Senate (S. 314), a critical first step in achieving provider status at the federal level. Since then, APhA and the Pharmacists Provide Care campaign have been providing regular updates on how pharmacists can encourage their Members of Congress to sign on as co-sponsors of the bill, showing momentum on this issue. Today there are 113 bipartisan co-sponsors on the House bill and 13 co-sponsors on the Senate bill.
“The support our profession is receiving from state and federal policymakers is remarkable,” said Thomas E. Menighan, APhA Executive Vice President and CEO. “We owe that growing recognition not only to the advocacy efforts by pharmacists across the country but due to the quality care they provide. Getting involved in the Pharmacists Provide Care campaign and reaching out to Members of Congress to explain how this legislation will make a critical difference in your community should be a priority for all of us. I am proud to see so many pharmacists helping set the course for the future of their profession.”
If passed, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act would enable Medicare patients living in Medically Underserved communities to access important services that pharmacists can provide, including medication management, chronic disease management and preventative screenings. Pharmacists can access additional information about this legislation, campaign materials and a sample letter to send to Congress at PharmacistsProvideCare.com.