Health Care Policy Experts to Discuss the Health Care Outlook at 2012 NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition

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Alexandria, Va. - July 23, 2012 The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today announced the speakers for its Second General Session and Government Affairs Forum to be held during its 114th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in San Diego, October 13-17, 2012.

Two health care policy heavyweights – Chris Jennings, former Assistant to the President for Health Care under President Bill Clinton; and Thomas Barker, JD, former Acting General Counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President George W. Bush – will headline the October 15 session. They will discuss what changes are likely after the election to the health care market, particularly Medicaid and Medicare.

“Every community pharmacy owner will run a better business and more effectively care for patients after attending NCPA’s Annual Convention and Trade Exposition,” said NCPA President and Oklahoma City pharmacy owner Lonny Wilson, DPh. “Meet, Learn and Succeed is the motto of our meeting and this panel reflects that focus.

“We’re excited to hear from these top-notch health care experts,” Wilson added. “Federal health programs now account for about half of the average independent community pharmacy’s book of business. No matter the outcome, this presidential election year and its aftermath will have a significant impact on community pharmacies. This session will help pharmacy owners stay ahead of the curve to roll with the changes coming out of Washington.”

Barker is currently a partner at the Washington, DC law firm Foley Hoag, where he focuses his practice on complex federal and state health care legal and regulatory matters with a special expertise in Medicare and Medicaid law and regulations. Previously Barker served as acting General Counsel at HHS and General Counsel of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). While at HHS, he played a key role in the implementation of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Medicare Part D); Medicaid modernization efforts; served as the administration's lead negotiator with Congress on Medicare and Medicaid provisions in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005; directed the conduct of litigation involving provider reimbursement disputes, including drafting a request for a writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court; and was on the FDA's amicus brief in Wyeth v. Levine, the prescription drug preemption case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009.

Prior to his service at HHS, Barker was regulatory counsel to the Massachusetts Hospital Association. He is a member of the adjunct faculties of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and the Suffolk University School of Law.

Jennings is a 28-plus-year health policy veteran of the Congress, the White House, and the private sector. He currently serves as president of Jennings Policy Strategies (JPS), a health policy consulting firm that specializes in assisting public and private purchasers as well as other stakeholders secure higher quality, more affordable health care.

Since he left the White House in 2001, he has been a senior health care advisor to four Democratic Presidential campaigns, served as the health care policy advisor to the 2008 Democratic Platform Drafting Committee and served as co-staff director of the 2008-09 Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) comprehensive health reform policy project with Mark McClellan for former Senate Majority Leaders’ Baker, Daschle, Dole and Mitchell. He is also a frequent contributor on health reform issues to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Jennings worked in the Clinton Administration White House for eight years. He was President Clinton’s senior health care advisor for six years and was associated with notable contributions toward the enactment and implementation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Work Incentive Improvement Act and a host of Medicare reforms. Prior to his White House service, Jennings served in the U.S Senate from 1983 to 1993 as health advisor for three Senators, including David Pryor’s work as Chairman of the Aging Committee, member of the Finance Committee and member of the Pepper Commission.

The NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition will feature nearly 20 hours of continuing education credits on topics including 340B, medication therapy management (MTM), adherence, technology and pharmacy-sustaining niches including long-term care, immunizations, compounding and more. The NCPA Trade Exposition is the most powerful and productive trade show in the independent pharmacy industry with hundreds of companies, offering attendees the best opportunity to secure the latest in products and services from a greater variety of vendors not available at other shows in the pharmacy industry.

For more information and to register, visit


The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists. Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at

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