'An army of 50,000'

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The National Association of Community Pharmacists (NCPA) has a new tool to rally the troops whenever key issues come up on Capitol Hill.

In February, the association launched Fight4Rx, a grassroots network that allows pharmacists and their patients to communicate about pharmacy-friendly bills. Patients sign up on Fight4Rx.org and receive up-to-date information.

“When we say ‘Call your congressman to support this’ they will be ready to jump on that,” said John Norton, public relations manager. “We want to have an army of 50,000 we can mobilize quickly.”

The association is recruiting patients through its 23,000 member pharmacies. Pharmacists interact with an average of 100 patients per day, opening up a large pool of potential advocates, said Norton.

“Patients are their own best advocates when it comes to their health care,” said John Coster, senior vice president of government affairs for NCPA. “We want to tap into that passion. This is a golden opportunity to talk to folks about healthcare reform.”