President Obama releases new healthcare-reform proposal, NCPA responds

ALEXANDRIA, Va. An organization representing the nation's independent pharmacies responded Monday to a new White House healthcare-reform proposal.

President Obama released his own detailed healthcare-reform proposal Monday, which would cost $950 billion over a 10-year period and addresses some of the main concerns of House leaders who are demanding more help for the middle class. The President's proposal also "includes provisions to crack down on waste, fraud and abuse." In response to this, the National Community Pharmacists Association's EVP and CEO Bruce Roberts, commended President Obama and congressional members for improving the U.S. healthcare system and looks forward to continued collaboration with the government to aid community pharmacists in providing patients with better health outcomes at a lower cost.

While NCPA expressed their support of fighting waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid, the organization warned that government officials should "take care to avoid inadvertently restricting patients’ access to legitimate health services as they pursue initiatives such as Medicaid Prescription Drug Profiling. The problematic pharmacy accreditation requirement in Medicare’s durable medical equipment program is a prime example."

Roberts added, "NCPA appreciates that the President’s proposal is offered as an addition to the Senate-passed health reform legislation. That bill includes a number of policies that community pharmacists support. Namely, an equitable fix to Medicaid’s average manufacturer price reimbursement formula for generic drugs; an exemption for most community pharmacies from Medicare’s onerous, costly accreditation requirements for sales of diabetes testing supplies and related goods; limited disclosure requirements for pharmacy benefit managers; and an expansion of medication therapy management programs."