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Retail pharmacy groups laud MTM benefits bill
March 3rd, 2011
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have endorsed the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2011.
NACDS and NCPA said Thursday that the bill (H.R 891) would expand the pool of Medicare Part D beneficiaries who can qualify for the service, provided by a licensed pharmacist to any patient with a chronic medical condition.
Currently, only Medicare patients suffering from multiple chronic conditions are eligible for the MTM service, according to the pharmacy associations.
The legislation was introduced by Reps. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R., Wash.) and Mike Ross (D., Ark.).
"Reps. McMorris-Rodgers and Ross understand the importance of pharmacists and the positive impact of MTM services for Medicare Part D beneficiaries," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson and NCPA executive vice president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said in a joint statement. "Their bipartisan MTM bill is the next logical step in building on what has been proven to work by lowering the threshold for eligibility to receive MTM services."
In early February, NACDS and NCPA announced their endorsement of another new MTM bill, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2011. That measure, introduced by Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.), builds on progress made in earlier legislation supporting MTM, the associations said. Original co-sponsors of the bill include Sens. Al Franken (D., Minn.), Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and Tim Johnson (D., S.D.).
"MTM allows clinically trained pharmacists to use their expertise in a carefully conducted one-on-one counseling session to help ensure the best combinations of medications are being taken in the proper way," Anderson and Jaeger stated. "Considering that according to NEHI [New England Health Institute] the improper use of medication is estimated to cost a staggering $290 billion a year, a service like MTM should be embraced. We hope the House of Representatives acts quickly on the bipartisan bill. We also urge Senate passage of the MTM bill that was recently introduced by Sen. Kay Hagan."