NCPA, Managed Health Care Associates Team Up to Advance Long-Term Care Pharmacies, Patients Through NCPA LTC Division

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Alexandria, Va. - May 9, 2011 - The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today announced the support of Managed Health Care Associates, Inc. (MHA) for NCPA's Long-Term Care (LTC) Division, which was established to advance the interests of community pharmacies and their LTC patients.

In October 2010, the NCPA LTC Division was formed to lead comprehensive and multifaceted advocacy campaigns to promote policies that benefit long-term care residents and the independent pharmacists who care for them. The NCPA LTC Division represents all community pharmacies that provide LTC services, including "closed door" pharmacies that exclusively serve LTC facilities and their residents.

MHA has been a consistent advocate for independent LTC closed door pharmacies and has now agreed to provide significant financial support for NCPA's LTC Division. MHA is the largest Group Purchasing Organization in the country focused on alternate site/non-acute settings with over $5 billion in total purchasing volume to these providers. A portfolio company of Diamond Castle Holdings, LLC, MHA has grown to be the largest purchasing group in the country serving Long Term Care and Home Infusion Pharmacies, as well as several other classes of trade.

"NCPA has achieved notable success in its advocacy efforts on behalf of community pharmacies," said MHA Chief Executive Officer Douglas Present. "We are very pleased with NCPA's stated goal of replicating those successes for independent LTC pharmacies. We are supporting NCPA's new LTC Division because of the value and potential it offers for our membership and for all LTC pharmacies."

"LTC pharmacy providers face significant regulatory and legislative barriers that threaten their ability to stay in business and care for their patients," said NCPA President and Waterloo, Iowa pharmacy owner Robert Greenwood, RPh. "Recognizing this, our Executive Committee established the NCPA LTC Division to give long-term care pharmacies and patients a greater voice in these critical policy debates. We're proud of the significant progress that has already been made just six months later. For example, NCPA played a leading role with other LTC stakeholders in working with Medicare officials to arrive at a much more reasonable approach to implementing the so-called 'short-cycle' dispensing policy.

"We greatly appreciate MHA's vote of confidence in this new effort," Greenwood added. "Working together, I know our organizations will help achieve many more victories for long-term care patients and pharmacies in the months and years ahead."

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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, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent a $93 billion health-care marketplace, have more than 315,000 employees including 62,400 pharmacists, and dispense over 41% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

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