AMCP Welcomes Introduction of the Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act
Legislation Would Help Improve Health Equity and Combat Public Health Threats
Alexandria, VA., March 24, 2023 — AMCP (Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy) today welcomed the introduction of the Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services (ECAPS) Act of 2023 by US Representatives Adrian Smith (R-NE), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Larry Bucshon, M.D (R-IN), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Scott Peters (D-CA), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), and Terri Sewell (D-AL). Provisions in this bipartisan legislation will help ensure patients across the country maintain reliable access to testing, vaccination, and treatment for COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the flu, and potential future threats to public health.
“With the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration ending in May, millions of patients across the United States risk losing access to essential care administered by pharmacists,” said AMCP CEO Susan Cantrell, MHL, RPh, CAE. “This bill will create and extend coverage for pharmacists providing this care, which is so important to seniors and other vulnerable patient groups, including rural communities. AMCP is grateful for the leadership of the Members of Congress sponsoring this important bill and looks forward to working with them to build bipartisan support toward passage.”
The ECAPS Act will help ensure that Americans can continue to rely on pharmacists for potentially life-saving care to combat a range of diseases, including COVID-19 and the flu. Nearly nine in 10 Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy, and patients are increasingly relying upon pharmacists as their first point of care. This is especially true in rural areas where 77 percent of community pharmacies serve population areas of 50,000 or fewer, making pharmacists an essential care provider to medically underserved communities.
If signed into law, the ECAPS Act would extend certain provisions put in place during the public health emergency that have been a critical lifeline for millions of patients. The bill would also establish coverage and reimbursement under Medicare Part B to enable and empower pharmacists to perform vital services in their communities for beneficiaries of these programs.
AMCP is the professional association leading the way to help patients get the medications they need at a cost they can afford. AMCP’s diverse membership of pharmacists, physicians, nurses, biopharmaceutical professionals, and other stakeholders leverage their specialized expertise in clinical evidence and economics to optimize medication benefit design and population health management and help patients access cost-effective and safe medications and other drug therapies. AMCP members improve the lives of nearly 300 million Americans served by private and public health plans, pharmacy benefit management firms, and emerging care models. Visit www.amcp.org.
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