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Pharmacist Associations Partner to Increase the Voice of Pharmacy
Date:6/9/2008

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP) are collaborating to increase the legislative and regulatory clout of pharmacists who engage in compounding. IACP has established a satellite office at NCPA's headquarters, which is led by their Director of Public Affairs, Sarah R. Dodge. In addition, since both groups share common concerns about federal government policies regarding pharmacy compounding, they will be able to better unite in conveying a message to elected and appointed federal officials about how patients can be hurt or helped by their pharmacy compounding decisions.

"The federal government has shown a proclivity for pursuing and adopting unwarranted and unnecessary policies when it comes to pharmacy compounding as was recently demonstrated by their arbitrary ban of estriol in compounded medications for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy," said Bruce T. Roberts, NCPA executive vice president and CEO. "NCPA and IACP are committed to joining forces whenever possible to ensure patient access to medications created through compounding is not endangered."

Besides the ongoing battle to change the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) stance towards estriol, there are numerous other areas where NCPA and IACP have been aligned in the past and are likely to be in the future. For example, in 2007, both groups fought back three separate attempts in Congress to usurp the current responsibility of the State Boards of Pharmacies in regulating certain aspects of pharmacy compounding. Both NCPA and IACP believe the FDA should regulate new drugs and the manufacturers of new drugs, while pharmacy compounding should continue to be regulated by State Boards of Pharmacies. What was attempted last year was to have those responsibilities mixed, which would have introduced a plethora of bureaucratic inefficiencies into the health care system. That wall of delineation would have been jeopardized if NCPA and IACP were unsuccessful in their lobbying efforts. Now coordination will be even easier.

"IACP is pleased to be working even closer with NCPA, as we strongly believe both organizations can compliment each other in many ways. Not only can we work in tandem on issues where there is mutual agreement in the legislative and regulatory arenas, but both organizations have many member companies in common. IACP views this newly strengthened relationship as a truly beneficial one that recognizes you are most effective when more pharmacists join together in our advocacy efforts," said L.D. King, executive director of IACP.

The National Community Pharmacists Association, founded in 1898, represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines. To learn more go to http://www.ncpanet.org.

The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP) is a non-profit association founded in 1991 to protect and promote the art and skill of the compounding pharmacy profession. We represent more than 2,000 pharmacists, physicians, technicians and patients who are committed to the safe practice of pharmacy compounding. We are committed to ensuring the rights of physicians to prescribe, of pharmacists to prepare and of patients to take customized medications that meet their unique, individual needs. To learn more go to http://www.iacprx.org.


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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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