Bill Would Ensure Seniors Have Access to Pharmacist-Provided Healthcare Services
Today, ASHP and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation that will ensure pharmacists can continue providing seniors with access to essential care and services provided by pharmacists for COVID-19, influenza (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) services, and strep throat. The Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act (H.R.1770) was introduced yesterday by Reps. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Doris Matsui (D-CA), and pharmacists Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Diana Harshbarger (R-TN)
H.R. 1770 would ensure patient access to essential pharmacist services for seniors and rural and other underserved populations, including:
- Testing: COVID-19, flu, RSV, and strep throat
- Treatment: COVID-19, flu, and strep throat
- Vaccinations: COVID-19 and flu
“We commend bipartisan lawmakers for introducing federal legislation to protect the role pharmacists play to deliver essential care and services to America’s seniors,” said Paul W. Abramowitz, CEO at ASHP, and Ilisa BG Bernstein, Interim CEO at APhA. “Pharmacists in all settings, including rural communities, hospitals, clinics, and health centers, are on the frontlines and have supported Americans through the worst public health emergency in a generation. H.R.1770 would empower older Americans, who are at higher risk of contracting infectious diseases and needing hospitalization, to continue to rely on services provided by pharmacists in their local communities. While Americans with private insurance, Medicaid beneficiaries, and federal employees may be covered, America’s seniors will be left behind if Congress doesn’t act to ensure access to essential pharmacist services in Medicare.”
ASHP and APhA are executive committee members of 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. Other coalition members supporting the legislation include 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.
The full text of H.R. 1770 can be found here.
ASHP is the largest association of pharmacy professionals in the United States, representing 60,000 pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians in all patient care settings, including hospitals, ambulatory clinics, and health-system community pharmacies. For over 80 years, ASHP has championed innovation in pharmacy practice, advanced education and professional development, and served as a steadfast advocate for members and patients. In addition, ASHP is the accrediting body for pharmacy residency and technician training programs, and provides comprehensive resources to support pharmacy professionals through every stage of their careers. For more information, visit ashp.org and ASHP’s consumer website, SafeMedication.com.