Washington, D.C.  – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik sent a letter to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs asking for the increased use of community retail pharmacies for non-active duty service members and veterans currently covered under TRICARE. In response to COVID-19, Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) and their pharmacies have changed or limited access to non-active duty service members and their families, and are encouraging TRICARE beneficiaries to use mail order services which are steering patients away from retail community pharmacies like Kinney Drugs, who have already implemented necessary safety precautions.

Additionally, the letter restates the Department of Homeland Security’s designation of pharmacy employees as critical infrastructure workers and emphasizes the need for the DHA to recognize the critical role community pharmacies fill when providing prescriptions to patients during a public health crisis.

“Community pharmacies in the North Country have implemented the necessary no-contact precautions for those picking up prescriptions due to COVID-19,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Our servicemembers covered by TRICARE should still be able to safely pick up prescriptions at their local pharmacies and, in turn, support our community businesses during this economically challenging time. I am asking that the Defense Health Agency consider encouraging TRICARE beneficiaries to still support their local pharmacies that are practicing safe, no-contact procedures. This action will minimize further disruption for servicemembers during this unprecedented time and support our local economy.”

Find a copy of the letter here.