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4/23/2001

Manasse, Pharmacy Leaders Discuss Pharmacy Benefit With HHS Secretary

Kate Traynor

ASHP Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D., recently participated in a dialogue between the leaders of several pharmacy organizations and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson to discuss the addition of a pharmacy benefit to Medicare.

During the meeting, the group stressed the pharmacist’s role in ensuring patients’ safe and effective medication use and strongly advocated for the addition of a pharmacy benefit to Medicare that would allow patients to select their own pharmacist. Manasse and his colleagues also sought Thompson’s support for a new reimbursement system for Medicare that would adequately pay pharmacists for providing medication therapy services and dispensing prescription drugs to beneficiaries.

"The meeting was a very valuable opportunity for the profession," said Manasse. "We presented Secretary Thompson with a unified message that focused on expanding the ability of pharmacists to assist patients with their drug therapy. I am encouraged by our first meeting and look forward to participating in further discussions."

Thompson solicited the coalition’s help as his staff begins work on Medicare reform proposals.

The meeting was coordinated by the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin and included representatives from ASHP, the National Community Pharmacists Association, the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the American Pharmaceutical Association, the National Council of State Pharmaceutical Association Executives, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.