Friday, December 11, 2009

NCPA Commends Pentagon Decision to Cover Pharmacist-Administered Vaccinations

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Department of Defense today issued an interim final rule designating pharmacies as providers for H1N1, seasonal flu and pneumonia vaccinations under its TRICARE program. The policy change, effective today and expected to be fully implemented later this month, brings the program in line with other insurers that have covered pharmacist-administered vaccinations for years. TRICARE is also seeking comments on additional vaccines that should be covered through community pharmacies.

In response, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Executive Vice President and CEO Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, issued the following statement:

“NCPA strongly supports the Pentagon’s decision to cover the provision of these critical vaccines at community pharmacies. This is truly a case where everyone wins. The 9.5 million TRICARE-eligible patients gain a convenient new vaccination option. Taxpayers and plan administrators will save money when vaccines are administered at pharmacies instead of costlier doctors’ offices or hospitals. And community pharmacists can welcome millions of new patients through their doors.

“This is a shining example of how community pharmacists can help produce better health outcomes at lower cost. We commend the Defense Department for taking this step, which NCPA has long advocated. In addition, as these benefits are realized, we’re hopeful Pentagon officials will expand the program to cover additional vaccinations.”

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