April 17, 2023 | Category: Press Releases
Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition Urges 118th Congress to Pass H.R. 1770 to Protect Medicare Beneficiaries from Infectious Disease Threats Now & In the Future
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 17, 2023) – The Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition, a group representing pharmacists and community pharmacies of all sizes serving millions of patients across the U.S., issued the following statement in response to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decision to amend the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) declaration related to COVID-19 and extend through December 2024 some flexibilities and protections:
“The Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition applauds HHS for amending the PREP Act declaration related to COVID-19. The action by the HHS Secretary demonstrates the critical role pharmacists play in our nation’s public health response. While this decision represents a crucial step to ensure patients can receive COVID-19 tests and certain vaccines and treatments from licensed pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy interns, only Congress can ensure Medicare beneficiary coverage of pharmacist services, particularly for seniors and patients in rural and underserved communities.”
“The Coalition urges Congress to build on this HHS decision by enacting the Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act (H.R. 1770) to ensure Medicare beneficiaries maintain access to essential services provided by pharmacists now and in the future. H.R. 1770 recognizes the critical role pharmacists play to protect America’s seniors and creates Medicare Part B direct reimbursement mechanisms for pharmacists’ services related to COVID-19, influenza, strep throat, and RSV. By conservative estimates, pharmacist interventions averted over 1 million deaths, over 8 million hospitalizations, and nearly $450 billion in health care costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
About Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition
The Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition, a group representing pharmacists and community pharmacies of all sizes serving millions of patients daily across the U.S. Coalition members supporting the legislation include the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), Abbott, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, CVS Health, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Health Mart, Kroger, McKesson, Medicine Shoppe, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), Walgreens, and Walmart.