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NCPA President Steve Giroux's Testimony at FDA Behind the Counter Hearing
Date:11/14/2007

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is the prepared testimony of NCPA president Steve Giroux before the public meeting of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding behind the counter availability of certain drugs.

"Hello, I am Steve Giroux, President of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and a pharmacist from Middleport, New York.

NCPA would like to thank the FDA for holding this public meeting to explore the public health benefit of certain drugs being available without a prescription, but only after intervention by a pharmacist in the Behind the Counter or "BTC" class of drugs.

NCPA strongly supports the creation of the BTC class of drugs. We believe it would reduce consumer healthcare costs, increase patient convenience, and provide a vehicle for postmarket safety supervision for consumer protection.

NCPA represents the pharmacist owners, managers, and employees of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies across the United States.

They are community leaders actively involved in community-oriented public health, civic, and volunteer projects. Many hold local elected offices, others serve as state legislators.

The nation's independent pharmacists dispense 1.4 billion prescriptions annually, 41% of all the retail prescriptions in the United States. This is a huge responsibility, but as medication experts it is a responsibility that our members readily accept.

Not only are pharmacists the most accessible healthcare providers available to patients; pharmacists have the training and knowledge to provide clinical interventions and ensure, through specific clinical protocols, that patients meet the conditions for specific BTC use. They are also well qualified to educate patients on appropriate use of the drug product and follow up with the patients to ensure compliance with the medication regimen.

Today we are here for our patients and to supp
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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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