McMorris Rodgers, Berry, Moran, Weiner Launch Congressional Community Pharmacy Caucus

(Washington, D.C.)  Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Marion Berry (D-AR), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Anthony Weiner (D-NY) today announced the creation of the bipartisan Congressional Community Pharmacy Coalition. The coalition will advocate for community pharmacy issues and promote the important role they play in the delivery of health care.

Community pharmacists provide prescription care in rural and inner-city communities at 23,000 independent retail pharmacies nationwide. Ninety-five percent of all Americans live within five miles of their community pharmacy. It is a place where people can go to receive medications from pharmacists they know and trust, purchase prescription drugs at lower prices and receive personal service.

The Coalition’s top legislative priorities include prompt payment under Medicare Part D, a fair reimbursement model under Medicaid and business negotiation rights for community pharmacies.

“In rural areas of Eastern Washington, community pharmacies are often the only places available to purchase prescription drugs,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. “These pharmacies are on the frontline of delivering quality, affordable health care and they are on the verge of extinction. The loss of these pharmacies would leave many people, including a large number of seniors, without a way to receive necessary medications. This coalition will be an opportunity to highlight the role of community pharmacies and ensure they remain in our communities.”

"In rural areas, like many that are located across the First Congressional District, pharmacists are often the first and sometimes only medical professional available," said Rep. Berry. "We must ensure community pharmacists receive their reimbursements in a fair and reasonable amount of time. Many of the bills the members of the coalition have proposed will greatly alleviate the circumstances and help these valuable medical professionals continue to serve their patients."

“Community pharmacies are a part of our way of life in rural Kansas,” said Rep. Moran. “The coalition will work to ensure that the doors of local pharmacies stay open and health care needs are met. Access to a pharmacy is essential not only to maintain our quality of life, but also for the survival of our communities.”

“The deck is stacked against community pharmacies,” said Rep. Weiner. “This coalition wants to level the playing field for our neighborhood pharmacists with the big chains of the world by providing prompt payment under Medicare Part D, a fair reimbursement rate under Medicaid and better negotiating rights for our essential community pharmacies."

Members of the Coalition include Representatives Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Michael Arcuri (D-NY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Nancy Boyda (D-KS), Christopher Carney (D-PA), Geoff David (R-KY), Lincoln Davis (D-TN), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Thelma Drake (R-VA), Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Virgil Goode (R-VA), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), Walter Jones (R-NC), Nick Lampson (D-TX), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Charlie Melancon (D-LA), Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX), Mike Ross (D-AR), Peter Sessions (R-TX), Zack Space (D-OH), Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), Greg Walden (R-OR), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Charles Wilson (D-OH).

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