NACDS again makes case for pharmacy’s value

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Maneuvering to set forth a firm policy position in advance of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores again urged Congress Tuesday to “look to pharmacy as a solution in improving patient health and curbing healthcare costs.”

NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson issued a statement calling attention to the role that pharmacists play in accessible, cost-effective patient care. His statement, made during the run-up to tonight’s highly anticipated address by the president, was a plea for greater recognition of the value that pharmacy brings to a healthcare system in dire need of cost-cutting solutions.

“Pharmacists have the unique skill set to help patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed,” Anderson said. “Through medication therapy management — which involves pharmacists counseling and educating patients on how to achieve medication adherence — pharmacists can help patients understand and manage their healthcare needs.”

What’s more, NACDS’ top executive said, “the role of pharmacy in the healthcare delivery system has become even more critical as convenience becomes even more important in everyday life. The neighborhood pharmacy is an accessible healthcare provider, and can also help patients detect health conditions through blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, as well as administering vaccinations, including flu shots.”

Anderson reminded federal policy-makers that pharmacists remain “1-of-the-top-3 most ttrusted professionals for eight years in a row," according to Gallup. “We urge Congress to look to pharmacy to set the example in how proactive approaches to health can produce long-term results that benefit patients and the healthcare system,” Anderson said. “We look forward to working with lawmakers and the Obama administration on MTM programs that help to achieve medication adherence and put patients first.”