Tester forms Community Pharmacy Caucus

Bipartisan Senate Caucus to promote Montana’s rural pharmacies, access to health care

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today announced that he has created the bipartisan Senate Community Pharmacy Caucus.

Tester is a co-chairman of the new caucus along with Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).  They created the Caucus to fight for the needs of the community pharmacies and the people they serve in Montana and throughout rural America.

Tester was the lead sponsor of legislation exempting many small pharmacies from unnecessary and expensive regulations that would have made it more difficult for Montana patients to get diabetic testing supplies.

“Pharmacies provide essential services for Montana’s rural communities. These small businesses are a critical part of what keeps rural America strong and healthy,” Tester said.  If folks in rural America don’t have access to life-saving medicine and medical supplies, rural America will disappear.  That’s why I’m proud to champion Montana’s community pharmacies and the good-paying jobs they support.”

“As the manager of a community pharmacy, I greatly appreciate Jon’s leadership in creating the Senate Pharmacy Caucus,” said Eric Shields, PharmD and Manager of Eastgate Drug in Missoula. “Jon’s tireless efforts on our behalf means that independent pharmacies across Montana and across this country will be able to provide quality services to our patients.”

“Senator Jon Tester is a terrific leader for the inaugural Senate Community Pharmacy Caucus,” said B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, executive vice president and CEO for the National Community Pharmacists Association. “He has long advocated common-sense solutions for the challenges facing community pharmacists and their patients.”

"We applaud Senator Tester for his leadership in establishing the bipartisan Senate Community Pharmacy Caucus," said Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, President and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.  "Community pharmacy services are vital for improving health and reducing overall healthcare costs.  We look forward to working with the caucus to advance pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policies."

“We are pleased that this bipartisan Caucus has been formed to fight for the vital role that community pharmacists play in the healthcare of countless patients in communities throughout the country,” said Brian Gallagher, BPharm, JD, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at American Pharmacists Association. “The American Pharmacists Association looks forward to working with Caucus members to ensure that patients have access to the appropriate tools and pharmacist services that will help them manage their medication therapy, reduce adverse drug events and improve therapeutic outcomes.”

Montana has 222 community pharmacies. According to the National Community Pharmacists Association, Montana’s community pharmacies employ over 3,000 people.