ALEXANDRIA, VA–New legislation to allow independent community pharmacies to provide same-day delivery of diabetes testing supplies to Medicare beneficiaries should be enacted into law, the National Community Pharmacists Association is urging.
The Diabetic Testing Supply Access Act (S. 1935) was introduced January 16 by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and John Thune (R-S.D.). Since July 1, 2013, community pharmacies have been banned from delivering diabetes testing supplies to beneficiaries, including those who are homebound or in long-term care or assisted living facilities (ALFs).
The restriction has drawn the ire of dozens of members of Congress and many community pharmacists due to the inconvenience and potential harm it poses to patients. Moreover, the NCPA contends, the costs of diabetic testing supplies to Medicare are equivalent regardless of whether they are delivered same-day by local pharmacies or through the mail.
“This winter has already brought sub-zero temperatures and perilous traveling and walking conditions to parts of the country,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. “Pharmacists have reported cases of seniors going out in hazardous circumstances and risking a debilitating fall or other accident to obtain diabetes testing supplies because the local pharmacy can no longer deliver them. Now more than ever, Congress should scrap this indefensible delivery ban.
In July 2013, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) introduced similar legislation in the House, The Diabetic Testing Supply Access Act (H.R. 2845).
The National Community Pharmacists Association represents the interests of U.S. community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $88.7 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40 percent of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 300,000 individuals, including over 62,000 pharmacists.
The NCPA website is located at https://www.ncpanet.org/
The text of the Diabetic Testing Supply Access Act is available at http://www.ncpanet.org/pdf/leg/jan14/goe14059.pdf