In March the National Association of Chain Drug Stores relaunched its advertising campaign to promote new MTM legislation and pharmacists ' role in medication therapy management.
First launched in 2007, the aggressive campaign targets Congressional representatives through ads in Congressional publications such as The Hill, along with radio, television, and internet ads.
"The ads focus on the importance of pharmacy in healthcare delivery. There is a need for cost savings, and we know that pharmacists can help reduce costs and save patient lives," said Chrissy Kopple, vice president of media relations for NACDS.
NACDS is also urging support of the recently introduced MTM bill in the House, H.R. 891, the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2011. "The Senate and House bills lower eligibility requirements, so that any Part D beneficiaries with chronic illnesses are eligible. Right now, if they [Part D beneficiaries] only have diabetes, for example, they are not eligible for MTM," Kopple said.
NACDS's coordinated 6-figure advertising and public relations campaign will target Capitol Hill, the Executive Branch, the media, and opinion leaders inside the Beltway. "Drive-time radio is real big here [in Washington, D.C.]. We are hoping that by people hearing and seeing the ads, that we will see some movement with the bills," Kopple said.
Educating Congress on the important role of pharmacy in healthcare and MTM services is vital, particularly since 20% of Congress includes members who were elected in November.
"They are focused on reining in government spending. They need to hear about the ways in which pharmacy services can help increase medication adherence, thus reducing preventable and more costly healthcare expenditures," wrote Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, president and CEO of NACDS, in NACDS' recent member newsletter.