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NJ pharmacy owners to form political action committee
The honorees at the event

New Jersey: Over 200 New Jersey independent pharmacy owners gathered to discuss the current state of retail pharmacy.  In an event which was held on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, at Deewan Banquet Hall in Piscataway, New Jersey named  “Winter Pharmacy Summit: Recognizing Key Policy Makers and Discussing the Issues Confronting the Practice of Pharmacy” lead organizer Ritesh Shah, raised the issues confronting retail pharmacies. “We are dealing with an unleveled playing field, PBMs, mail order operations, and others are not playing by the same set of rules that we have to follow” he remarked. “Tonight we take the first step toward leveling that playing field and restoring equality to the industry” he mentioned.  

The pharmacy group announced their intentions to create a Political Action Committee named NJRxPAC.  “We need to educate our elected representatives. There is a misperception that we count pills for a living. We are professionals on the front line of healthcare” said Mahesh Shah, who is on the steering committee for the PAC and is also a member of the Board of Pharmacy.  The PAC will have an Advisory Board that includes many prominent pharmacy owners.

Mr. Ritesh Shah announced a bold agenda for the PAC. “We will go to Trenton in March to fight for Audit Bill of Rights, and ask for legislation that mandates PBMs to update their pricing on a regular and frequent basis” he announced.  The consensus was that this is a much needed effort. “It is about time that we did this in New Jersey. We need a voice in Trenton, so we can advocate the pharmacy industry especially independent business owners.  I am excited about NJRxPAC” said Sanjay Shah, Owner of Front Street Pharmacy in South Plainfield, NJ.

The event brought the leadership and members of many prominent pharmacy organizations.  Representatives from the New Jersey Pharmacists Association (NJPhA), Garden State Pharmacy Owners (GSPO), Indo-American Pharmaceutical Society (IAPS) and the Independent Pharmacy Alliance (IPA) were all present.  The event was also attended by Monmouth County Democratic Chairman, Vin Gopal, newly elected Assemblyman Raj Mukerjee from NJ’s 33rd Legislative District, and Assemblyman Gary Schaer from NJ’s 36th District, who is also the Deputy Speaker for the New Jersey Assembly.  Mr. Gopal and Mr. Mukerjee were presented awards for their continued support for retail pharmacies.

Update: 16-December-2013