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Pharmacy Supports Will Douglas for Texas House in Virtual Event

Thursday, June 18, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Members of the Texas pharmacy community gathered Thursday evening, June 18, for a virtual event to support TPA Member Will Douglas, an independent pharmacy owner who is running for office as the Republican nominee for Texas House District 113 in eastern Dallas County. Douglas spoke to attendees about his plans to support pharmacy legislation if elected.

“Getting PBM legislation passed is my number one priority in terms of pharmacy," Douglas said. "We almost had some legislation get passed last year. I’ve made some good relationships with members already, and I think having my face attached to that bill will get it through and we’ll be able to get some PBM relief for pharmacies.”

Douglas said he believes building relationships is key to working with physicians and the well-funded medical lobby to advance pharmacy legislation related to scope of practice. “It comes down to relationships. We haven’t had a pharmacist in the House to champion our position,” he said. “It’s going to come down to making sure they understand that we’re not trying to take business away from them. We are trying to expand on our capabilities as pharmacists, which is ultimately going to make their jobs easier.”

Will Douglas speaks to supporters at virtual event
Texas House Candidate Will Douglas speaks to supporters.

Special guest U.S. Representative Buddy Carter, R.Ph., (R-GA), the sole pharmacist in the U.S. Congress, congratulated Douglas on his decision to run for office. “It is extremely important, particularly on the state level, that we have good people and we have pharmacist representation in the state legislature,” Carter said. “There are a lot of pharmacy issues that are handled at the state level.”

Carter provided an update on DIR fees and other federal legislation important to our profession. “We’ve been working closely with the administration, particularly with the COVID-19 task force, on trying to make sure that pharmacists have the ability to provide the tests. We’ve been successful in that," he said. "Our next step to make sure that you’re getting compensated for doing that.”

Carter also said he has been in contact with CMS Administrator Seema Verma and HHS Secretary Alex Azar about suspending pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees during the pandemic. “The message from CMS has been, ‘We don’t want to suspend them just during this pandemic; we think they ought to go away anyway.’ We are closer now than we’ve ever been.”

Congressman Buddy Carter discusses federal pharmacy issues.
Congressman Buddy Carter discusses federal pharmacy issues.

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