BUSINESS WIRE--The U.S. House of Representatives voted 355 to 59 in favor of H.R. 6331, which represents a veto-proof majority. The health care bill contains three critical provisions for community pharmacies that speed up the reimbursements for Medicare Part D claims, delays below-cost cuts to Medicaid generic prescription drug reimbursement that would have driven thousands of community pharmacies out of business, and suspends the flawed Medicare DMEPOS (durable medical equipment, prosthetics and supplies) competitive bidding program. In response Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, executive vice president and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), issued the following statement:
“The U.S. House of Representatives sent a very strong signal about improving our health care system by voting overwhelmingly in favor of H.R. 6331. Part of that improvement will be made possible by three provisions that ensure continued patient access to community pharmacies, by focusing on treating pharmacies fairly and valuing the services they provide. We hope the U.S. Senate will follow suit this week and that ultimately President Bush recognizes the importance of this legislation by signing it into law.”The National Community Pharmacists Association, founded in 1898, represents the nation’s community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 pharmacies. The nation’s independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines.