Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX) (second from left) participated in an NACDS RxIMPACT-supported pharmacy tour at Walmart in Midland, Texas. NACDS RxIMPACT has supported 36 in-district activities so far in 2017.
Pharmacy is getting a huge boost of recognition with 11 recent NACDS RxIMPACT in-district activities—constituting a total of 36 events in 2017. The reports on the pharmacy tours have been extremely positive—and encouraging.
H-E-B’s Doug Read, Pharm.D, said the pharmacy tour at the H-E-B in Edinburg, Texas, for a staff member from Rep. Vincente Gonzalez was “one of the more successful, informational, and educational sessions we have had in the past couple of years.”
H-E-B’s Doug Read, Pharm.D, said the pharmacy tour at the H-E-B in Edinburg, Texas, for a staff member from Rep. Vincente Gonzalez was “one of the more successful, informational, and educational sessions we have had in the past couple of years.” Read said the pharmacy team’s main goal was to describe the value of pharmacy—besides merely dispensing pills—by talking about essential services they provide, like diagnostic testing, medication therapy management and immunizations. The team asked for the congressman’s support for H.R. 592—The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act—which would allow underserved Medicare patients to receive certain services from pharmacists, in states where pharmacists are already permitted to administer them.
At the Walmart pharmacy tour in Midland, Texas, Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX), spent about 45 minutes with the pharmacy team asking questions on a broad range of topics, including efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
A staff member from Rep. Louie Gohmert’s (R-TX) office had the opportunity to participate in a pharmacy tour at the Brookshire Grocery Co., in Tyler, Texas, where it turns out one of the employees has served as her longtime pharmacist. Lisa Glorioso, R.Ph., the vice president of pharmacy, said the congressional staffer was “very receptive to our information and our requests for support, and I am confident that our message will be conveyed [to Rep. Gohmert] in a very positive light.”
The pharmacy team at the CVS Health in Honolulu spoke to a case worker from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s (D-HI) office, Christen Lee, about how technology has helped streamline the medication dispensing process, which allows pharmacists to get to know patients’ individual needs better and the preventative services pharmacists provide, like immunizations. They also expressed their appreciation for Rep. Hanabusa’s recent support for the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act.
A staff member for Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) toured an Albertsons Companies pharmacy in Glendale, Ariz. The pharmacy team discussed provider status legislation, H.R. 592, at length and provided examples of the services pharmacists offer and the ways in which pharmacists could help serve a large unmet public need by providing patient access to affordable, quality healthcare. The team also talked about the importance of supporting the Pilot Program for Prescription Drug Acquisition Cost Parity in the TRICARE Pharmacy Benefits Program. The pilot program was included in the FY2017 NDAA and has the potential to reduce costs while also restoring TRICARE patient access to medications and services from their neighborhood pharmacies.
A staff member for Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) participated in a pharmacy tour at Meijer, Inc., in Traverse City, Mich., where the pharmacy team discussed pharmacy services and the importance of supporting H.R. 592 to expand the scope of pharmacist services and to underscore how accessible pharmacists are as healthcare providers.
As the healthcare debate continues to evolve across the country, the participation in NACDS RxIMPACT pharmacy tours gives members of Congress and their staff members an essential and firsthand understanding of the significant role pharmacy plays in providing affordable and accessible healthcare services to people in all parts of the country.