The West Virginia Pharmacists Association received ‘thanks’ from Tom Menighan, CEO of the American Pharmacists Association, for answering his recent call for WVPA’s outreach to U. S. Representatives regarding H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act. According to Menighan, the congressional support for the legislation continues to grow with nearly 60% of the House signed on as cosponsors.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee looked at numerous pieces of legislation during its third hearing on our Nation’s opioid crisis. This hearing was focused on ways the Medicare and Medicaid program can be improved to better deal with the epidemic.
Menighan went on to say that pharmacists have been an underutilized resource in improving the care of patients, including those with chronic pain. Because Medicare does not cover pharmacists’ services, beneficiaries’ access to the health care practitioner with the most medication-related education and training is limited, and restricted mainly to services related to medication dispensing.
During the hearing, Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Cathy McMorris (R-WA) introduced letters from APhA and other pharmacy organizations, including West Virginia Pharmacists Association, calling for the passage of H.R. 592 to help combat the opioid epidemic, and the need for passage of H.R. 592.
Past President of WVPA and long-time member, Menighan said, “APhA continues our quest for passage of the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (S. 109/H.R. 592) and we are working for its inclusion in opioid legislation being considered by the House and Senate.”