APhA Advocates to Trump Administration for Patients and the Value of Pharmacists
To address the rising cost of drugs and discuss the Trump Administration’s drug pricing initiatives and the “American Patients First” blueprint, U.S. Secretary Alex Azar welcomed health care providers, and representatives from patient advocate groups to join a roundtable discussion today at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL. The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) was one of the attendees at the small group session. Board of Trustees member Theresa Tolle, BPharm, FAPhA, and owner of Bay Street Pharmacy in Sebastian, FL, was honored to participate and discuss the issues pharmacists and the patients they serve are experiencing related to medication cost, coverage, and access.
Tolle provided comments to the Secretary explaining the real-world financial burdens many patients taking high-cost medications face and the role of pharmacists in improving care. She emphasized the importance for Medicare and other payors’ payment to cover the cost of products and pharmacists’ services in order to protect patients’ ability to access necessary and appropriate medications and achieve optimal benefits from those medications.
Tolle explained that as drugs become more expensive, complex and personalized, the need to optimize their impact and value also increases. “To get the greatest benefit from medications, patients must understand how to use their medications safely and effectively, which is why it is critical to include the pharmacist, the medication expert, as part of the overall health care team,” stated Tolle.
APhA will also be responding to President Trump’s request for information (RFI) on the blueprint. “We support the President’s effort to lower patients’ drug costs,” said APhA Executive Vice President and CEO, Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA. “As the most accessible health care practitioner and the medication expert on the health care team, pharmacists play a critical role in helping provide and manage patients’ medications. We look forward to working with Secretary Azar and the Administration to identify ways to better utilize pharmacists to improve patients’ care, outcomes and costs.”