U.S. Sens. Michael Rounds (R-SD) and Gary Peters (D-MI) coordinated a bipartisan letter signed by 23 Senators and sent to Robert Wilkie, undersecretary for personnel and readiness, at the Department of Defense, pictured here.

Arlington, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) today thanked U.S. Sens. Michael Rounds (R-SD) and Gary Peters (D-MI) for their leadership in sending a bipartisan letter to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Robert Wilkie, undersecretary for personnel and readiness. The letter – signed by 23 Senators – expresses appreciation to DoD for agreeing to convene stakeholders from DoD, the pharmaceutical manufacturing community and the retail pharmacy community to explore ways for TRICARE patients to better access their needed medications from community pharmacies, regardless of whether their medications are brand or generic.

The following Senators signed the letter:

Sen. M. Michael Rounds (R-SD)

Sen. Gary C. Peters (D-MI)

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)

Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA)

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI)

Sen. Joni K. Ernst (R-IA)

Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL)

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Sen. David A. Perdue (R-GA)

Sen. Roger F. Wicker (R-MS)

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)


The Senators state in the letter that they are encouraged by the advancement of this important work and that they “share an interest in realizing a solution that will improve point-of-care choice, convenience and access to pharmacist care within the TRICARE program.” Increasing TRICARE patient access to medications would increase the choice of where they obtain their medications, improve their access to the medications, and be instrumental in reducing costs.

“NACDS appreciates the Senators’ engagement in supporting the Department of Defense’s efforts to find solutions for TRICARE patients’ access to healthcare in pharmacies,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “We want to thank Sen. Michael Rounds (R-SD) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) in particular for their work in taking the lead on this letter, and we also appreciate the commitment of all of the Senators who signed it. This is a positive step in bettering the health outcomes of military families and veterans, while also reducing costs for the Department of Defense.”

Significantly, TRICARE patients also show support for increased access. A poll commissioned by NACDS and conducted by Morning Consult found that nine-in-ten TRICARE beneficiaries agree with the statement: “It is important that military family and veteran benefits can be accessed at local and private establishments, not just military health facilities.” Further, six-in-ten TRICARE beneficiaries indicated that the ability to choose to fill prescriptions at retail would have a positive impact on the health of TRICARE beneficiaries.