Diverse Health Care Providers & Stakeholders Urge President Trump to Appoint Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter to Commission on Containing Costs of Lifesaving Prescription Drugs

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Coalition Commends Rep. Carter’s Record of Working to Enhance Clinical Outcomes while Containing Out-of-Pocket Costs for Sick Patients, Families and Caregivers

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 26) — A myriad of stakeholders across the health care industry, including the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP), joined together to send a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, encouraging him to appoint Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-1) to any commission formed to address the cost of lifesaving prescription medications in the U.S.

“Rep. Carter is the only pharmacist currently serving in Congress, where he has dedicated his short tenure to health care policy, specifically to prescription drug pricing and opioid abuse,” the letter reads. “Addressing the rising cost of prescription medications is of upmost importance to the American people. With experience in both the practice of pharmacy and public policy, few are better positioned to address this issue than Rep. Carter.”

The diverse group of organizations co-signing the letter include:

  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • American Pharmacists Association
  • American Society of Consultant Pharmacists
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • Community Oncology Alliance
  • Community Oncology Pharmacy Association
  • Food Marketing Institute
  • Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association
  • International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists
  • National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations
  • National Association of Chain Drug Stores
  • National Association of Specialty Pharmacy
  • National Community Pharmacists Association
  • National Grocers Association

“With over 30 years of experience in the field of pharmacy, Rep. Carter brings unique insight on the evolution of health care, and how even the slightest reforms could impact patients and their families,” said Sheila Arquette, Executive Director of NASP, the association representing over 50 healthcare industry leaders and 250 member pharmacies, which was pleased to offer support for Rep. Carter. “Specialty pharmacies make significant contributions to clinical outcomes for patients, which is why we need to give experts like Rep. Carter a seat at the decision-making table as we work to contain prescription drug costs for the sickest, most vulnerable members of our communities. Rep. Carter brings patient centricity and pragmatism to the complicated issues of drug pricing, and remains dedicated to serving the unique needs of patients living with complex, life-altering, or life-threatening diseases.”

According to IMS Health data, drug spending continues to shift from traditional to specialty medicines, with specialty share of net spending increasing from 23.6% in 2007 to 42.9% in 2016. Specialty pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated. Examples of these illnesses include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, human growth hormone deficiencies, organ transplantation, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders.

Rep. Carter sits on the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. Previously, he led multiple investigations into prescription drug pricing issues from his post on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Prior to joining Congress, Rep. Carter served in the Georgia General Assembly, leading health care public policy for the state. He sponsored legislation to create the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, helped usher through landmark tort reform, and served on a certificate of need taskforce.

Most recently, Rep. Carter spearheaded a bipartisan letter signed by 54 members of Congress to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), strongly urging Acting HHS Secretary Don Wright and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to ensure rebates and discounts in Medicare Part D help contain skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs for patients. The letter also implores HHS and CMS to ensure patient access to specialty pharmacies, not limited access resulting from “inapplicable Star Rating measures.”

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)

NASP represents over 50 healthcare industry leaders, working on behalf of retail and specialty pharmacies, drug distributors, and hospital systems on legislative and regulatory efforts for the association, which has 250 member pharmacies. Founded in 2012, NASP is the only national trade association representing all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. The core mission of NASP is to provide educational programs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, and to promote specialty pharmacist certification for specialty pharmacy professionals. NASP also serves as an advocate for public policies that ensure patients have appropriate access to specialty medications in tandem with critical services. In addition to providing medications to severely ill patients, specialty pharmacy also focuses on support programs and services to ensure patients realize the maximum clinical benefit from their medication, therapies and services, working to ease the treatment burden for patients, families and caregivers as they work to manage these tough conditions.  For more information, visit http://www.naspnet.org/.

CONTACT:  Maureen Shanahan | nasp@skdknick.com

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