Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) met with Co-Chief Operating Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Alex Gourlay, NACDS vice chairman, at the 2016 NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill. Rep. Guthrie was a lead sponsor of NACDS-backed pharmacist provider status legislation in the previous Congress, and will be one of the members re-introducing the bill in the House in the coming days. The bill was reintroduced in the Senate on Thursday with the bipartisan original co-sponsorship of more than one-quarter of the Senate.

The newly convened 115th Congress has started to announce congressional committee assignments. Significantly for NACDS, Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA), the only pharmacist currently serving in Congress, landed a sought-after seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Health Subcommittee.

In the Senate, freshman Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), who was an original cosponsor of the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act in the prior Congress, was named as a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

The legislation would enhance underserved Medicare patients’ access to state-approved pharmacist services. The lead sponsor of the bill in the 114th Congress, Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), will remain vice chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee. It is encouraging that these congressional pharmacy supporters are well placed, especially as Congress prepares for reforms to the Affordable Care Act.