SCPC Applauds Introduction of Legislation Establishing Federal Definition of Long-Term Care Pharmacy

The Long-Term Care Pharmacy Definition Act of 2020 Introduced to Establish a Clear Statutory Definition and Alleviate Current Regulatory Chaos and Jurisdictional Confusion

Washington, DC – The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) today applauded the introduction of The Long-Term Care Pharmacy Definition Act of 2020, which was introduced by U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and co-sponsored by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) in the Senate and introduced by Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) in the House of Representatives. The legislation, if passed, would establish a clear statutory definition of long-term care (LTC) pharmacy– a crucial development that will modernize governmental oversight over the sector and drive regulatory consistency for all federal agencies.

“This commonsense legislation would ensure clarity and consistency for our long-term care pharmacies without adding costs to our healthcare system,” shared Senator Scott. “I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill, which will make it easier for this important sector to navigate regulatory confusion and allow them to care and provide for our nation’s seniors.”

“Long-term care pharmacies are essential to providing quality care to millions of our nation’s seniors,” said Senator Warner. “Unfortunately, under existing rules, they are regulated in the same way as more traditional retail pharmacies, which has created unnecessary bureaucracy around providing life-saving medication and services for a vulnerable population. That’s why we’re introducing legislation that will create a distinct definition for long-term care pharmacies to better reflect the specialized care they provide for the senior population they serve.”

“The personal services that long-term care pharmacies provide seniors are critical for the health and wellness of millions of Americans,” said Congressman Schrader. “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on this vulnerable population and now more than ever a consistent regulatory framework that defines long term care pharmacies is crucial. This bipartisan legislation will offer greater governmental oversight and create regulatory consistency across multiple federal agencies.”

“Long-term care pharmacies provide critical services for seniors, who often require multiple prescriptions to maintain their health,” said Congressman Mullin. “This commonsense legislation will help agencies give more consistent regulatory direction as well as streamline services to residents.”

Despite the increasing importance of the enhanced pharmacy services and clinical oversight provided by long-term care (LTC) pharmacies, Congress has yet to establish a clear and consistent definition for these entities, triggering conflicting regulatory standards that risk disrupting care for older adults. The Long-Term Care Pharmacy Definition Act of 2020 would address this concern and alleviate much of the current regulatory chaos and jurisdictional confusion that places seniors’ care at risk.

“Now more than ever, as the nation’s LTC community copes with the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, establishing a clear and consistent regulatory framework for LTC pharmacies is essential,” said Alan G. Rosenbloom, President and CEO of SCPC. “We commend Senators Scott and Warner as well as Congressmen Schrader and Mullin for recognizing the unique value proposition LTC pharmacies offer seniors in nursing homes and other LTC facilities by introducing this much-needed legislation. The patient care services LTC pharmacies provide, including the 12 prescriptions per day per person on average, are crucial to the health and safety of our most vulnerable citizens.”

LTC pharmacies provide life-saving medication management and other value-added clinical services to over two million American seniors in LTC facilities, residential community care facilities and other settings. But despite the invaluable services LTC pharmacies provide, there is no statutory definition for “long-term care pharmacy” in federal law. As a result, providers and regulators alike must contend with a vague patchwork of inconsistent regulations governing LTC pharmacies across multiple federal agencies– primarily the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The Long-Term Care Definition Act will provide regulatory clarity and help ensure continuity of care for millions of American seniors,” concluded Rosenbloom. “On behalf of America’s LTC pharmacies and the vulnerable patients they serve across the country, we thank Senator Scott, Senator Warner, Congressman Schrader and Congressman Mullin for championing this important cause.”

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The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) is the only national organization exclusively representing the interests of LTC pharmacies. Its members operate in all 50 states and serve 850,000 patients daily in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities across the country. Visit seniorcarepharmacies.org  to learn more.