As Chairman Baucus Outlines Vision for Healthcare Reform, NACDS Emphasizes Pharmacy?s Essential Role in Any Successful Overhaul

As Chairman Baucus Outlines Vision for Healthcare Reform, NACDS Emphasizes Pharmacy?s Essential Role in Any Successful Overhaul



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Alexandria, VA (Vocus) November 12, 2008

President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE issued a statement following the release of the healthcare reform proposal by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) today:

“It would be interesting to tally the number of statements that will be issued today by healthcare groups. As every organization positions itself for the healthcare debate, the reality is that real reform will require unprecedented collaboration and creativity. As the face of neighborhood healthcare, pharmacies are partners in the continuum of care, and can help improve outcomes and reduce costs.

“In its Principles of Healthcare Reform, NACDS made the case that pharmacy services, such as Medication Therapy Management, can reduce healthcare costs and help make patients healthier. Chairman Baucus has demonstrated that he understands the value of pharmacy, and we look forward to working with him and others to achieve its untapped potential for the health of patients and the healthcare delivery system.

“It also is very realistic that Chairman Baucus characterized the existence of the healthcare reform debate amid the current economic turbulence. During these challenging economic times, pharmacies play a more critical role than ever. A vast majority of healthcare costs is spent in the area of chronic disease and care. The seven most chronic diseases cost $ 1.3 trillion annually. Failure to take medications as prescribed costs more than $ 177 billion annually in direct and indirect healthcare costs. Pharmacists help patients understand why it is critical to continue taking their medications as prescribed, even in times of economic hardship, to help prevent even higher healthcare costs in the future.

“In any healthcare reform legislative proposal, cost is an underlying factor. To that end, pharmacy can play a key role by advising their patients to adhere to their medication regimens, which can help reduce the cost associated with a congressional healthcare reform package.

“We applaud Chairman Baucus for his proposal to achieve comprehensive healthcare reform and we look forward to continued collaboration with him in the 111th Congress. NACDS stands ready to work with Congress and the Obama Administration to assure innovative solutions to our health care challenges, utilizing the benefits of pharmacists.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) represents traditional drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchants with pharmacies. Its more than 170 chain member companies include regional chains with a minimum of four stores to national companies. NACDS members also include more than 1,000 suppliers of pharmacy and front-end products, and nearly 90 international members representing 29 countries. Chains operate 39,000 pharmacies, and employ a total of more than 2.5 million employees, including 118,000 pharmacists. They fill more than 2.5 billion prescriptions yearly, and have annual sales of over $ 750 billion. For more information about NACDS, visit www.NACDS.org.

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