Today, ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) applauded the introduction of H.R. 7213, the Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act, bipartisan legislation that would ensure patients can continue to access essential pandemic and pandemic-related services provided by pharmacists, including services to keep communities safe from COVID-19 and future public health threats. The bill was introduced by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), David B. McKinley (R-WV), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), and Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA).
H. R. 7213 would help ensure that patients, particularly those living in rural and urban settings, can receive point of service testing, treatment, and vaccine services provided by pharmacists for COVID-19, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and strep throat. The legislation would also establish Medicare coverage and payment for pharmacist and pharmacy-provided services during public health emergencies designated by the Department of Health and Human Services.
“The COVID-19 pandemic shined a critical light on how difficult it is for patients in historically underserved communities to access essential services and achieve optimal medication therapy outcomes,” said ASHP Chief Executive Officer Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, ScD, (Hon.), FASHP. “ASHP has been a longstanding leader and advocate for policies that recognize the essential roles pharmacists play as patient care providers. The introduction of H.R. 7213 is an important milestone as we build on successes ASHP has led at the state and federal levels to enable patients to access needed care from pharmacists. We commend the bill sponsors and will work diligently to help ensure the success of this critically important legislation.”
ASHP is an executive committee member of the Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition, a group representing pharmacists and community pharmacies of all sizes serving millions of patients daily across the U.S. Coalition members supporting the legislation include ASHP, American Pharmacists Association , AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, CVS Health, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Health Mart, Kroger, McKesson, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), and Walgreens.
Click here to see the complete list of patient, pharmacy, and health-system groups supporting this legislation.
The full text of H.R. 7213 can be found here.
ASHP is the collective voice of pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in hospitals, health systems, ambulatory clinics, and other healthcare settings spanning the full spectrum of medication use. The organization’s more than 60,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For 80 years, ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists advance healthcare, visit ASHP’s website, ashp.org, or its consumer website, SafeMedication.com.