Our Legislative Agenda
Every day Walgreens invests resources into expanding pharmacy services, building new strategic partnerships to expand our reach to customers, and providing retail offerings that reflect our customer preferences - all to help ensure the continued vitality and growth of our company. Walgreens government relations team members work with elected officials from across the country to acheive these goals through various policy initiatives. Below are the top issues that impact our company, our workforce, and our customers.
States have been grappling to find solutions to the growing challenges of drug abuse and prevention. Some states have reexamined their state statutes and proposed broad package bills attempting to deal with a range of issues. Others have honed in on a particular problem or tried to enact a particular
solution. The various facets of this issue that we see often in legislation include: pharmacist authority to dispense or administer Naloxone, coverage parity for abuse-deterrent formulas of opioid drugs, prescription and age requirements to purchase products containing PSE or DXM, changes to the
Schedule level of controlled substances, PMP (Prescription Monitoring Programs), and drug take-back programs.
Adherence bills include "90-Day" legislation that allows pharmacies to refill 3 months of a medication at once, improving medication adherence and creating a savings for retail pharmacy. Medication synchronization (med sync) bills also relate to adherence as they may allow pharmacists to fill a partial prescription in order to "sync" a patient's refill schedule with other medications. This is done to improve adherence, provide a convenience and co-pay savings to the patient, and achieve savings for pharmacy.
We advocate for the pharmacist ability to substitue clinically effective and lower cost interchangeable biosimilars as easily and safely as possible in our stores and specilaitaty pharmacies.
We track several components of immunization expansion, which refers to expanding a pharmacist's authority to administer vaccinations. The issues here revolve around which vaccines a pharmacist may administer, to individuals of a minimum age, and whether this can be done without a prescription.
Labor & Minimum Wage
State legislatures have been busy in this area, with legislation related not only to raising a state's minimum wage, but also related to preventing local governments from enacting a minimum wage that differs from the state's (i.e., "local preemption"). Apart from minimum wage, labor legislation
often attempts to provide paid leave (sick, family, vacation and other time off) to employees, including part-time employees. Scheduling predictability for hourly employees can also be seen as a topic in this legislative area.
While this topic covers many sub-issues, activity relevant to Walgreens tends to focus on Medicaid reimbursement for prescription drugs, specifically what formula the state uses to calculate the amount reimbursed, including AMP (average manufacturer's price), NADAC (national average drug acquisition cost), or others. We also focus on dispensing fees for pharmacies and whether a state is planning to move to Managed Medicaid and away from Fee For Service.
PBMs may be regulated by requirements to be more transparent about their drug pricing as it pertains to reimbursement to pharmacies including their MAC (maximum allowable cost) drug lists. Bills may also relate to a pharmacy's right to appeal MAC list pricing determinations or the ways PBMs conduct pharmacy audits, usually referring to the amount of notice they must give before conducting one.
We track tax bills including legislative activity related to commercial property tax assessments, ad valorem refundable tax credits and other business/corporate tax issues.
Achieving provider status is about giving patients access to the valuable care that pharmacists provide. Becoming a "provider" in the Social Security Act means that patients can participate in Part B of the Medicare program and bill Medicare for services that are within their state scope of practice to perform. The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592 and S. 109) is bipartisan legislation that will amend section 1861 (s) (2) of the Social Security Act to include pharmacists on the list of recognized healthcare providers.