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NACDS: Pharmacists 'uniquely qualified' as diabetes advisers
July 2nd, 2010
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – In comments submitted to Congress, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores spotlighted pharmacy's role in counseling diabetes patients about their medications and helping to preserve access to diabetes equipment and supplies for Medicare beneficiaries.
NACDS said it submitted the comments for a hearing titled "The Battle Against Diabetes: Progress Made; Challenges Unmet" held Thursday by the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.
"Pharmacists are uniquely qualified as medication experts to work with patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and play a key role in ensuring patients take their medications as prescribed," the NACDS statement read. "Medication therapy management (MTM) services provided by community pharmacists improve patient care, enhance communication between providers and patients, improve collaboration among providers, optimize medication use for improved patient outcomes, contribute to medication error prevention and enable patients to be more actively involved in medication self-management."
Last week, NACDS announced its endorsement of the the Medication Therapy Management Expanded Benefits Act of 2010. The bill aims to enhance pharmacist-provided MTM services for Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries by opening MTM to patients with any chronic condition or disease.
In addition, the NACDS comments explained how expanding the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program would restrict patient access to diabetic equipment and supplies.
"This policy would limit participation in Medicare by retail pharmacies and would reduce diabetic patients' access to life-saving supplies and services," the association's statement said. "To ensure that community pharmacists continue to play a role in the battle against diabetes, it is vital that Medicare beneficiaries have continued access to diabetic medications and supplies through community retail pharmacies."