Senate 'Jobs' Bill Provision Would Preserve Seniors Access to Essential Medical Supplies at Community Pharmacies

Alexandria, Va. - February 11, 2010

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today commended Senate leaders for including in a new economic stimulus proposal a permanent exemption for most community pharmacies from Medicare's accreditation requirements for providers of durable medical equipment - a longtime priority of NCPA's. 

In response, NCPA Executive Vice President and CEO Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, issued the following statement: 

"NCPA strongly supports the Medicare provision. It will give Medicare beneficiaries, especially those in rural areas, access to diabetes testing strips and other essential medical products from trusted providers at their local pharmacies. Enactment of this provision will both benefit patients and realize a longtime legislative priority of NCPA. We especially want to thank Senators Max Baucus, Charles Grassley, Sam Brownback and Jon Tester for all their work 

"Pharmacists are already state licensed and 17 other state-regulated health care providers have been exempted from this regulation. It's simply unreasonable to ask community pharmacists, many of whom derive only a small fraction of their business from these sales while providing a substantial benefit to the community, to complete such an expensive, time-consuming accreditation process every three years in order to stay in this market. Those pharmacies that already completed the accreditation process will be spared the time and expense of repeating the process two years from now." 

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,700 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent an $88 billion health-care marketplace, employ over 65,000 pharmacists, and dispense over 40% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

Ask Your Family Pharmacist TM