As promised, NACDS is harnessing the energy generated in advance of NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill and turning it into meaningful, effective advocacy efforts. Though the winter storm, flight cancellations and congressional schedule changes forced the cancellation of the Washington, D.C. event, NACDS RxIMPACT immediately started its work to translate congressional meetings scheduled for last week’s advocacy event into in-district opportunities for NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill participants when House and Senate members return home for recess in April.
Building on its largest letter writing campaign ever—5,000 and counting—to build support for federal provider status legislation (HR592/S109), NACDS RxIMPACT asked advocates again this week to write their representatives letting them know that as they work to reform the Affordable Care Act, pharmacy services in Medicaid and Medicare should be protected to ensure beneficiary access to quality and lower-cost care. In the first 24 hours of the campaign, advocates generated 1,031 letters to 236 members of Congress.
NACDS RxIMPACT also urged advocates in New York, Oklahoma, and Texas to promote pharmacy’s priorities and called on all NACDS member companies to advance a TRICARE pilot program to increase patient access and reduce costs.
- In New York, NACDS RxIMPACT rallied advocates to once again send 1,000 letters thanking House and Senate legislators for rejecting proposed Medicaid cuts in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) FY2017-18 budget, and urging them to stand by that position as the conference committee finalizes a compromise plan.
- In Oklahoma, NACDS RxIMPACT encouraged advocates to build Senate support for the unanimously House-approved HB 1824 by Representative Chris Kannady, which would allow patients to synchronize the fill date of their prescription medications so that they could order and receive all of their prescriptions on the same day each month instead of having to make multiple visits to the pharmacy.
- In Texas, NACDS RxIMPACT urged support for Senate Bill 2042, introduced by state Sen. Judith Zaffarini, which would give parents the option to have their children aged seven years and older receive additional vaccines from a certified pharmacist without a prescription.
Throwing the net wide nationally, NACDS RxIMPACT encouraged all NACDS member companies to contact their representatives in the House to urge the Secretary of Defense to support implementation of the Pilot Program for Prescription Drug Acquisition Cost Parity in the TRICARE
Pharmacy Benefits Program. If executed as intended, the pilot could provide military families and veterans with the choice of how they get their medications and will also lower program costs. The FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act gives the DoD the ability to implement the program in this fiscal year. Two days into the campaign, NACDS member companies have already sent hundreds of communications that have reached 64 percent of the House of Representatives.
NACDS RxIMPACT will continue to mobilize advocacy efforts and keep members apprised of opportunities at the national, state and local level to engage with lawmakers and advance pro-pharmacy, pro-patient legislative priorities.