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Congressman tours Hartig Drug, Carepro pharmacies
August 17th, 2009
Rep. David Loebsack (D., Iowa)
IOWA City, Iowa – Demonstrating firsthand community pharmacy's role in the nation's health care system, Hartig Drug and Carepro Health Services on Monday hosted store tours by Rep. Dave Loebsack (D., Iowa) and Steve Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
Loebsack and Anderson visited Hartig's store in Iowa City and Carepro's Shepley Pharmacy in Mount Vernon, Iowa, according to NACDS. They toured the pharmacy facilities, met with pharmacists and their patients, and engaged in an extensive discussion on health care reform legislation.
The visits are part of a week of pharmacy tours in the 2nd Congressional District, NACDS said. As the reform battle rolls on, the association has been actively engaging with lawmakers and regulators on health care issues to show government officials how pharmacies can make health care more effective and rein in costs.
"These pharmacy tours will help to raise awareness of the vital role of pharmacy in fostering access to care, reducing health care costs, and improving patient health and health care quality," Anderson said in a statement.
Dubuque, Iowa-based Hartig operates a dozen drug stores in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. Carepro, whose headquarters is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has a network of five pharmacies and operates a compounding pharmacy, an infusion pharmacy, a health education and wellness pharmacy, a medical equipment store and a home health agency in eastern Iowa.
An advocate of pharmacy, Loebsack participated in an NACDS briefing on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the National Community Pharmacists Association and the Iowa Pharmacy Association on pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM) in June.
"As we move forward with health care reform, it is very important that we focus on several key issues: access, quality and cost savings," Loebsack commented. "Our community pharmacists and medication therapy management address all three of these areas.
"By building on the pharmacist's role as a medication expert, this medical 'how-to' can improve lives and allow patients, particularly Iowans, more access to medical advice and care while incurring long-term cost savings."
NACDS has continually worked with its members to engage in the health care debate on behalf of pharmacy. NACDS RxImpact, launched earlier this year, is the association's grassroots advocacy program. Through the program, NACDS has engaged its members in visits to Capitol Hill, letter-writing campaigns to elected officials and other events so they can explain how pending legislation is vital to their profession, the chain drug store industry and their patients.