Senate Introduces Long-Term Care Pharmacy Definition Act of 2021

DATE: May 12, 2021

The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition Applauds This Crucial Step for Long-Term Care Pharmacies; Enabling Better Care for Vulnerable Populations

Washington, DC (May 12, 2021) – The bipartisan Long-Term Care Pharmacy Definition Act of 2021 was introduced today by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), providing a solution to a convoluted, patchwork system governing long-term care (LTC) pharmacies. The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) commends this step that allows LTC pharmacies to do what they do best: provide enhanced pharmacy and clinical services to 850,000 LTC residents every day.

“The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition thanks Senators Tim Scott and Mark Warner for today’s introduction of the bipartisan Long-Term Care Pharmacy Definition Act of 2021, which lays the groundwork to finally establish a clear federal statutory definition for long-term care (LTC) pharmacies,” said Alan Rosenbloom, SCPC President and CEO. “This is a crucial development that will modernize governmental oversight of the sector and ensure regulatory consistency for all federal agencies.” 

This bill defines LTC pharmacies as especially qualified to provide enhanced pharmacy and clinical services to patients with medically complex chronic conditions who rely extensively on prescription drugs to improve their health and quality of life.  LTC pharmacies play an irreplaceable role in communities across the country, but for far too long they have been forced to navigate a vague and inconsistent regulatory framework that has made it increasingly difficult to meet patient needs in the community.

“This commonsense legislation would ensure clarity and consistency for our long-term care pharmacies without adding costs to our healthcare system,” said 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.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the way many of our seniors receive their care, putting a greater emphasis on the need for specialized care provided by long-term care pharmacies. Unfortunately, under existing rules, these pharmacies are regulated in the same way as more traditional retail pharmacies, which has created unnecessary bureaucracy around providing life-saving medication during this unprecedented health crisis,” said Senator Warner. “My bipartisan bill with Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) creates a distinct definition for long-term care pharmacies to better reflect the specialized care they provide for the senior population they serve.”

“This absence of a clear definition became devastatingly apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic as LTC pharmacies witnessed an average revenue loss of 11%, while simultaneously experiencing 10% higher operating costs to continue providing high-quality health care for this vulnerable population,” said Alan Rosenbloom. “Without a definition, LTC pharmacies missed out on critical federal assistance from the Provider Relief Fund. SCPC wholeheartedly supports this legislation, and we encourage the House of Representatives to move forward with a companion bill in the immediate future.”

Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Tina Smith (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined the bill as original co-sponsors.

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About Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition

The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) is the only national organization exclusively representing the interests of LTC pharmacies, representing 75% of the sector overall. 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.

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