NACDS CEO promotes ‘access agenda’ in political newspaper
ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores positioned pharmacy patient care and collaboration across healthcare segments as vital to improving health and wellness nationwide. The column reflects NACDS’ “Access Agenda,” which reflects pharmacy’s collaborative approach to patient care and to public policy development, and is penned by NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.
“At least two significant challenges stymie health policymakers today — the search for effective and affordable access solutions, as well as for productive legislative collaboration,” wrote Anderson in his opening remarks. “As lawmakers in Washington continue to work toward finding healthcare solutions for families across the United States, the emerging story of pharmacies as the face of neighborhood healthcare may contain clues for advancing the health of Americans, and of the nation’s governing bodies as well.”
Anderson cited as a healthcare-delivery success the broad-based recognition of pharmacy’s vital role in providing vaccines — an evolution that gained momentum following the flu pandemic of 2009. He also noted the strong bipartisan support for the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592 and S. 109) — legislation that would enhance underserved Medicare patients’ access to state-approved, pharmacist-provided services. In addition to urging proactive measures, he also noted the importance of doing no harm to pharmacy patient care, urging Congress to preserve pharmacy benefits and pharmacy services in Medicare and Medicaid amid any reviews of current programs.
“In healthcare delivery, as in healthcare policymaking, there is no panacea. However, lessons learned over the past decade — including those related to pharmacists’ enhanced vaccination authority — suggest that seeking improved access for patients through highly educated, trusted and accessible professionals like pharmacists can yield bipartisan accomplishments amid times of need,” Anderson wrote. “In this way, similar and additional initiatives — fueled by collaboration among various segments of healthcare delivery and by leaders in government — could notch progress toward remedies for patients, as well as for the policymaking and political arenas alike.”
To read the full column, click here.