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NACDS ad blitz touts pharmacy 'inside the Beltway'
March 11th, 2011
WASHINGTON – In tandem with its RxImpact Day lobbying drive on Capitol Hill, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has relaunched its paid advertising campaign to communicate the integral role pharmacy plays in the health care delivery system.
NACDS also said Thursday that it held a press conference with Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) in support of medication therapy management (MTM) legislation she recently introduced.
The advertising and public relations plan will target Capitol Hill, the executive branch, the media and opinion leaders "inside the Beltway" of Washington, D.C., according to NACDS. The ads will begin to appear this week in local publications, on drive-time radio and online.
"The ad campaign is designed to engage decision makers in Washington that pharmacists are not just friendly faces, but also serve in many ways as the face of neighborhood health care," stated NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson.
NACDS noted that it originally launched an aggressive ad campaign in 2007 to advocate pharmacy as a critical component of the health care delivery system. Now, with a new Congress and an rising awareness of the need for cost savings in health care, it has become more important to sway lawmakers to see pharmacy as part of the solution, the association said.
The campaign shows how pharmacists can help in reducing these costs by counseling patients on how to take their medications properly, which in turn helps improve patient health.
In addition, the effort also highlights key House and Senate legislation that seeks to advance MTM, which involves specific strategies employed by pharmacists to help patients better understand and use their medications. Some studies show significant return on investment from MTM programs, in some instances reaching well over $10 in reduced health care costs for every $1 spent on MTM, NACDS reported.
NACDS has endorsed S. 274, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act, sponsored by Hagan, and the association joined the senator Thursday in a press conference on Capitol Hill to support the legislation. Sens. Al Franken (D., Minn.), Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), Tim Johnson (D., S.D.) and Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) are co-sponsors of the bill.
The association also supports the House companion legislation, H.R. 891, the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2011, introduced last week by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.) and Mike Ross (D., Ark.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Tim Griffin (R., Ark.).
During the conference, Anderson and Hagan were joined by NACDS board members who represent the 350 pharmacy advocates from 40 states, many of whom wore their pharmacy white coats, who participated in RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill.
"NACDS appreciates the leadership of the Senate and House sponsors and co-sponsors on this pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policy," commented Anderson. "We look forward to working together to urge further support for this legislation in Congress.
"During this pivotal time in Washington where there are fresh faces in Congress and a fiscal focus on health care costs," he added, "it is critical to illustrate that pharmacy is an important part of the solution to reduce costs and improve health for patients."