With midterm elections on the horizon, members of the National Community Pharmacists Association have completed dozens of pharmacy visits with policymakers or their staff as part of NCPA’s Month of Action initiative.

The Month of Action was in lieu of NCPA’s Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In to Washington, D.C., which typically takes place in April. By inviting policymakers to pharmacies instead, this initiative provided firsthand insight into the important role independent pharmacies play in their communities, the many ways that pharmacy teams help patients, and the challenges facing the industry.

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From Aug. 1 to Sept. 7, NCPA members across the country had plans for 60 visits in conjunction with NCPA’s Month of Action. Twenty-two of these were with legislators who serve in leadership roles in or on key committees for community pharmacy, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure visited a community pharmacy as well. Nearly 40% of pharmacies participating in the Month of Action hosted a legislator for the first time, an important step in building rapport with those making decisions central to the future of pharmacy. 

“Forging a relationship with my senator and representative over the years has made them much more attuned to independent pharmacy issues,” said NCPA president Michele Belcher, owner of Grants Pass Pharmacy in Grants Pass, Ore.

Belcher has hosted several policymakers at her pharmacy and, in August, joined Wyden, Brooks-LaSure, and others in visiting River Road Health Mart Pharmacy in Eugene.

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“These opportunities show how decisions made in Washington affect independent pharmacies and patients across the country are times well spent,” she said. “I’m glad to have participated in NCPA’s Month of Action and am proud that so many independent pharmacists were prioritized by policymakers’ offices for meeting with this summer.”

Article is taken from Drug Store News here.

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