DISAPPOINTED WITH slow and low reimbursement rates for Medicare Part D, cuts to Medicaid and legislation requiring medicine containing pseudoephedrine to be sold from behind the counter, retail pharmacy focused on influencing federal policy to help business and low-income customers this year.
Under new President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Alexandria, Va., established a new marketing, communications and media relations department in April.
By May, the Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, Va., had formed the FMI Pharmacy Affairs Council to make the voice of supermarket pharmacies, as well as other pharmacies, heard on federal legislative and regulatory issues.
“Legislation is a very, very important part of our business now,” said David Chan, director of pharmacy at Scolari's Food & Drug Co., Sparks, Nev.
In July, the American Pharmacists Association, Washington, NACDS and the National Community Pharmacists Association, Alexandria, initiated Project Destiny to develop a plan that validates community pharmacy's role in the delivery of health care.
Then on Sept. 19, retail pharmacy executives joined representatives from pharmacy companies throughout the U.S. for a “fly-in,” a collaborative effort to visit with members of Congress.
The fly-in was organized by FMI, NACDS and NCPA to address Medicaid access issues.
Other developments include medication therapy management being given American Medical Association billing codes; cough and cold medicines for children under 2 being pulled off the shelves; and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's hearing to consider introducing a new class of drugs that would be sold from behind the counter.