ALEXANDRIA, Va. (July 28, 2020) — The National Community Pharmacists Association supports provisions in Senate Republican coronavirus relief legislation presented Monday that would shield essential small businesses from opportunistic lawsuits, provide additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and offer tax credits to offset costs of safety precautions, says NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. Policymakers should swiftly negotiate a final package, according to Hoey, that maintains these provisions and also provides or ensures hazard pay and lets pharmacists administer tests and vaccines.
“It’s absolutely necessary to shield essential small businesses from opportunistic lawsuits, provide additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, and offer tax credits to offset costs of safety precautions,” says Hoey. Leaders in both houses of Congress should move quickly to negotiate a final package, he said.
NCPA launched its “Essential” campaign earlier this month aimed at pushing Congress to include important small-business elements in the next round of COVID-19 relief. The NCPA plan calls for:
- Liability protection for essential small businesses.
- Expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Recognition of pharmacists as health care providers so they can get paid for COVID-19 tests, vaccines, and related services.
- Hazard pay for front-line pharmacy employees.
- Tax credits to offset the investments in safety precautions such as plexiglass barriers and drive-through windows.
“Family-owned pharmacies have been essential in keeping America functioning, even as it becomes clearer that this is a more prolonged crisis than earlier coronavirus relief legislation was meant to alleviate,” says Hoey. “Continuing to serve as front-line health care workers, neighborhood pharmacists are keeping their patients safe and serving as an anchor of normalcy. They’ve done their part. Now it’s time for Congress to do its part.”