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APhA CEO Blog

Thoughts from a pharmacy champion in Congress

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March 09, 2015

We are so grateful to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for being a lead Senate sponsor of the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act that was introduced in both the House as H.R. 592 and the Senate as S. 314.

I encourage you to read an interview with him in Pharmacy Today’s March issue, which has been posted to pharmacist.com. This month’s Q&A is part of an occasional series on Members of Congress who are champions of pharmacy.

Grassley, along with Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert Casey (D-PA), and Mark Kirk (R-IL) are lead sponsors in the Senate. The lead sponsors in the House are Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Todd Young (R-IN), and Ron Kind (D-WI).

“Pharmacists are already providing tremendous value to Medicare beneficiaries on health care matters, and Medicare policy should reflect what’s happening in the field,” said Grassley in an interview with Today.

Grassley noted that the legislation is particularly meaningful to him as a senator from a state with a methamphetamine problem and as the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

He concluded the interview by asking pharmacists to contact their Members of Congress about how this legislation would make a difference for pharmacists and patients. “There’s no substitute for hearing from the grassroots about how a policy under consideration in Washington, DC, would help the people outside the Beltway,” Grassley said.

I believe that Grassley supports provider status because a pharmacist or student pharmacist shared with him their 30-second elevator speech. Grassley’s support underscores why it is important for every pharmacist to share their patient care stories and make our voices heard.

Grassley’s interview with Today can be found on pharmacist.com.

If you haven’t already, take a minute and ask your U.S. representative and U.S. senators for support of H.R. 592 and S. 314. If they already sponsor or cosponsor, then make sure to thank them!