Sen. Wyden, CMS Administrator Join NCPA President and Others for Pharmacy Visit in Eugene

NCPA August 11, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 11, 2022) – Michele Belcher, president of the National Community Pharmacists Association and owner of Grants Pass Pharmacy in Grants Pass, Ore., today joined Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure at River Road Health Mart Pharmacy in Eugene. Others present included Brian Marr, owner of River Road Health Mart Pharmacy; Roberto Linares, part-time pharmacist from Rice’s Pharmacy in Corvallis and full-time instructor at the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University; and John and Ann Murray, owners of Murray Drug, which has locations in Heppner, Condon and Boardman.

The group discussed efforts to combat high prescription drug prices, protect small-business independent pharmacies, and preserve access for the patients they serve. NCPA is grateful to both policymakers for advancing policies to end retroactive clawbacks, Belcher said. On behalf of the organization, she thanked Wyden for his efforts to have the Federal Trade Commission conduct a study of pharmacy benefit managers. Belcher expressed concern that PBMs will continue to ratchet down pharmacy reimbursement and urged him to support the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act (S. 4293), which would give the FTC greater authority to hold PBMs accountable for unfair and deceptive practices that drive up the costs of drugs at the expense of consumers. She also recommended that Brooks-LaSure and the Biden administration extend the various flexibilities (diagnostics, treatments, vaccines, etc.) afforded to pharmacists by the COVID-19 public health emergency after it ends.

“Local pharmacies like mine and others represented at this discussion are an important part of the national health care infrastructure; we are a safety net to many patients,” Belcher says. “At the urging of NCPA and so many others, policymakers are taking steps toward fixing the broken prescription drug payment model, but there’s more to be done to foster successful pharmacies and healthier, happier patients. We appreciate working with Sen. Wyden and Administrator Brooks-LaSure on accomplishing these goals and supporting the pharmacist-provided services that have proven so essential to the health of our country.”

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Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing nearly 19,400 pharmacies that employ approximately 215,000 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.

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