Members of the NACDS Board of Directors met with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) at a previous NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill. Pictured here are former NACDS Chairman and current Board member Randy Edeker of Hy-Vee, Inc., at left, and NACDS Board member David Vucurevich of Genoa Healthcare, second from left. Grassley introduced the original bipartisan Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (S. 109), which has been revised to enhance the ability of pharmacists to be a part of the solution to the opioid abuse epidemic.
The Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition (PAPCC) and pharmacy supporters in the House and Senate have proposed revisions to provider status legislation—the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592/S. 109)—that would enhance the ability of pharmacists to be a part of the solution to the opioid abuse epidemic.
To spur action on the revised measure, NACDS RxIMPACT launched a grasstops campaign this week encouraging pharmacy advocates to urge 10 targeted Senate Finance Committee members to contact Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to ask for his support for the legislation and ask the Congressional Budget Office to promptly complete its cost estimate so the measure can be considered by the Senate Finance Committee, along with other measures intended to curb the opioid abuse crisis. It is expected that the Senate Finance Committee could consider legislation related to the opioid epidemic as early as next week.
The new draft of the provider status legislation provides for Medicare coverage of pharmacist services to prevent prescription drug abuse. These services would be covered when provided by a pharmacist, subject to state scope of practice, and would include services related to opioid abuse prevention.