Legislation would Restrict Increases of TRICARE Co-Payments
Alexandria, Va. - April 29, 2011
Today the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) issued a letter to U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) expressing pharmacy's support for H.R. 1092, the Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act, which would help preserve TRICARE beneficiaries' access to pharmacy-based healthcare services.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Jones, prohibits increases to retail pharmacy co-payments.
"We understand the burden of rising health costs and the need to control spending in the military healthcare system," NACDS President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE and NCPA Chief Executive Officer B. Douglas Hoey, RPH, MBA said in the joint letter. "However, we do not support efforts to modify pharmacy co-payments to further encourage the use of mail order."
NACDS and NCPA have long-supported efforts to preserve access to pharmacy services for TRICARE beneficiaries and their families. The groups have also worked with Congress, DoD, and the Administration to enhance pharmacy-based TRICARE services, such as expanding access to immunizations, which can help improve patient health and reduce healthcare costs.
"We offer our assistance in developing policy options that control prescription drug spending, while at the same time allowing retail pharmacies the privilege of providing prescription drugs and services to our nation's military personnel," the letter concluded.
To read the entire NACDS and NCPA letter, please click here.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) represents traditional drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchants with pharmacies—from regional chains with four stores to national companies. Chains operate 39,000 pharmacies, and employ more than 2.7 million employees, including 118,000 full-time pharmacists. They fill nearly 2.6 billion prescriptions annually, which is more than 72 percent of annual prescriptions in the United States. The total economic impact of all retail stores with pharmacies transcends their $830 billion in annual sales. Every $1 spent in these stores creates a ripple effect of $1.96 in other industries, for a total economic impact of $1.57 trillion, equal to 11 percent of GDP. NACDS represents 137 chains that operate these pharmacies in neighborhoods across America, and NACDS members also include more than 900 pharmacy and consumer packaged goods suppliers and service providers, and over 60 international members from 23 countries. For more information about NACDS, visit www.NACDS.org.
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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