National Consumers League

NCL health policy updates | Health Advisory Council Newsletter | 2017 Q2

Janay Johnson rallying on Capitol Hill

Defending the ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid

As part of the Protect Our Care coalition, NCL continues to be actively engaged in the nationwide effort to protect the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid. Through statementsletters, and social media channels, NCL is working with its colleagues in the consumer, patient, and public health communities to urge the Senate to reject the harmful American Health Care Act and the Better Care Reconciliation Act and work instead to strengthen and improve the Affordable Care Act

Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge

Script Your Future winners

In May, NCL announced the winners of the 6th annual Medication Adherence Team Challenge, a competition that encourages health profession students and faculty across the nation to develop creative ideas, events, and initiatives to raise public awareness about the importance of medication adherence.

This year, the Script Your Future National Challenge Awards went to the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy and Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) (pictured here). NEOMED also won two focused awards in the areas of health disparities and media outreach. The University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy earned the focused award for creative inter-professional team event. For the first time, NCL also honored an outstanding team in their first or second year of the Challenge with the Rookie Award. This prize went to University of the Sciences Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.

Hundreds of future health care professionals from 66 participating educational institutions held more than 320 events in 18 states and Puerto Rico, counseled more than 15,000 patients, and reached more than 12 million consumers nationwide. Since the Challenge began in 2011, more than 12,000 future healthcare professionals have directly counseled nearly 50,000 patients and reached more than 23 million consumers. 

ACOG 2017 Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting

On May 8 at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) 2017 Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting in San Diego, NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg participated in a Women’s Sexual Health Roundtable convened by AMAG Pharmaceuticals. Greenberg joined with colleagues from women’s health, medical professional, and sexual health organizations to discuss barriers in women's sexual health such as stigma and cultural biases, provider education gaps, and lack of awareness/misinformation, and strategies to overcome these barriers, such as promoting conversation and openness around women’s sexual health issues, and improving healthcare provider education and patient-provider communication.

Counterfeit drugs
In May, NCL issued a statement expressing concern that pending prescription drug importation proposals will open the U.S. market to a flood of counterfeit and/or substandard drugs, putting patient health and safety at risk. Through our Fraud.org website and NCL’s partnership with the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), NCL is continuing to educate consumers on the dangers of counterfeit drugs and the steps they can take to protect themselves when buying drugs online.

FDA Appropriations

On April 25, NCL participated with more than 50 members of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA in the Alliance’s Annual Capitol Hill Advocacy Day. NCL met with the offices of Senate Appropriations Chairman Cochran (R-MS) and Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chairman Hoeven (R-ND) to discuss the harmful impact that President Trump’s proposal to replace $871 million in budget authority (BA) appropriations with additional user fees—a 31 percent budget cut—would have on the agency.

Compounded drugs

On June 5, following-up to NCL’s October 2016 comments on the FDA draft guidances for industry on compounded drug products, NCL sent a letter to the FDA and published an op-ed in the Huffington Post urging the FDA to continue to advance its December 2016 compounding guidance in the interest of patient safety.