WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R–S.C.) and Mark Warner (D–Va.) introduced the Long-Term Care (LTC) Pharmacy Definition Act of 2020. This bipartisan legislation, if passed, will ensure seniors requiring long-term care have access to the medication and treatments they need. This bill would also codify an adaptable definition for “long-term care pharmacy” to enhance clarity and consistency across diverse programs and agencies. Without adding new costs to the healthcare system, a clear federal definition for LTC pharmacy would provide policymakers and regulators with the tools needed to facilitate the unique supports that these pharmacies offer, within both current models and the innovative models of the future.  

“This commonsense legislation would ensure clarity and consistency for our long-term care pharmacies without adding costs to our healthcare system,” shared Senator Scott. “I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill, which will make it easier for this important sector to navigate regulatory confusion and allow them to care and provide for our nation’s seniors.”

“Long-term care pharmacies are essential to providing quality care to millions of our nation’s seniors. Unfortunately, under existing rules, they are regulated in the same way as more traditional retail pharmacies, which has created unnecessary bureaucracy around providing life-saving medication and services for a vulnerable population,” said Senator Warner. “That’s why we’re introducing legislation that will create a distinct definition for long-term care pharmacies to better reflect the specialized care they provide for the senior population they serve.”

“Long Term Care Pharmacies provide critical services for seniors, who often require multiple prescriptions to maintain their health. Because there is no statuary definition for LTC Pharmacies, they must negotiate a patchwork of vague, inconsistent provisions, which could disrupt services and impact care for seniors. This commonsense legislation will help agencies give more consistent regulatory direction as well as streamline services to residents,” said Rep. Mullin.

“The personal services that long term care pharmacies provide seniors, many who take upwards of 10 medications per day, are critical for the health and wellness of millions of Americans,” said Rep. Schrader. “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on this vulnerable population and now more than ever a consistent regulatory framework that defines long term care pharmacies is crucial. This bipartisan legislation will offer greater governmental oversight and create regulatory consistency across multiple federal agencies.”

“Now more than ever, as the nation’s LTC community copes with the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, establishing a clear and consistent regulatory framework for LTC pharmacies is essential,” said Alan G. Rosenbloom, President and CEO of the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition. “We commend Senators Scott and Warner as well as Congressmen Schrader and Mullin for recognizing the unique value proposition LTC pharmacies offer seniors in nursing homes and other LTC facilities by introducing this much-needed legislation. The patient care services LTC pharmacies provide, including the 12 prescriptions per day per person on average, are crucial to the health and safety of our most vulnerable citizens.”

Congressmen Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Kurt Schrader (R-OR) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Full text of the bill is available HERE.