ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 22, 2021) — Hundreds of independent neighborhood pharmacists participated in the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2021 Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In, which was held virtually April 19-21. The purpose of the event is to urge Congress to support a pro-pharmacy, pro-patient agenda, including advancing efforts to stop unfair pharmacy benefit managers practices such as retroactive clawbacks called direct and indirect remuneration fees, and to protect and expand patient access to community pharmacy services.
Here’s a recap of NCPA’s 2021 Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In:
- The event drew more than 300 community pharmacists from 47 states and the District of Columbia.
- Community pharmacists visited with more than 250 congressional offices for meetings with members of Congress or staffers.
- Fly-In participants highlighted to the policymakers the contributions of independent pharmacies in the community’s fight against the coronavirus.
- Participants also pushed for Congress to: finalize full pharmacy DIR fee reform that prohibits DIR clawbacks and standardizes pharmacy quality metrics; prohibit spread pricing (when a PBM charges a payer more than it reimburses a pharmacy for a drug, and keeps the difference) in Medicaid managed care; address pharmacy access issues including PBM conflicts of interest and patient steering; and ensure Medicare payment for enhanced pharmacist services such as testing and vaccines.
“Small business neighborhood pharmacies have been essential for their communities during the darkest days of the pandemic, and now they are saving America, one person at a time, as COVID-19 vaccinators,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. “More has been added to their plate and though they are rising to the occasion, broader industry pressures remain in place too, and many pharmacies are hanging on by a thread. We’re asking that policymakers be there for their local pharmacies in return and provide relief, or the pharmacies may not be here the next time citizens need their services.”
Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing more than 21,000 pharmacies that employ 250,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America's most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit www.ncpa.org.