NCPDP EDvocacy Initiative

EDvocacy is an NCPDP initiative that communicates the value gained from bringing all healthcare industry stakeholders together in our forums to develop sustainable industry solutions to business and patient safety challenges to improve healthcare outcomes.

It is distinguished by a focus on education, sharing knowledge about the complexities of the healthcare system; an understanding of the impact of change on each stakeholder group; the importance of consensus-building, sacrifice and investment to serve the greater good of the industry and, more importantly, for the ultimate benefit of patients; real world solutions that can improve healthcare; and the forum and process to lead and keep pace with evolving industry needs.

It is expressed at all levels of the organization, from staff communication to NCPDP member activities carried out into their respective places of employment and in other professional interactions.

NCPDP’s Industry Relations team, executive staff, Strategic Planning Committee members, and Board members participate in meetings with industry leaders and policymakers to educate and increase awareness of NCPDP and serve as a knowledgeable and trusted resource. To date, the team’s EDvocacy efforts have provided valuable industry and topic-specific education for leaders to make better informed decisions for their constituencies.



Can outcomes of the EDvocacy initiatives be measured? And if so, how?

Outcomes of our EDvocacy can be measured at the point of interaction, and also in follow-up activities. When possible, as with our Hill visits, we follow-up to make sure that we have answered questions, learn if there are additional questions, and if we should refer another subject matter expert to provide assistance.

Ultimately, our goal is to be the go-to-resource on the front end: to help clarify an issue and the various stakeholder perspectives, leverage available NCPDP solutions, and to continue to be a resource, providing unbiased information, contacts and our forum for discovery, discussion, and resolution.

Does NCPDP lobby?

NCPDP does not lobby or engage in any activities that involve direct or indirect payment to influence the decision-making process in the legislative or executive branches of the Federal Government or at the state level. Our role is to serve as a resource to anyone interested in learning about all facets of an issue and how consensus-based solutions are developed in our forums.

See the Lobbying vs. EDvocacy reference table, below, developed by NCPDP’s consultant, Horizon Government Affairs (formerly JC White Consulting) for a side-by-side look at the distinct differences between lobbying and EDvocacy.

Lobbying vs. EDvocacy

Lobbying EDvocacy
  • Employed for financial compensation, making more than one contact of elected officials and spending more than 20 percent of time during any three month period
  • Engaged on a volunteer or cause basis, making more than one contact of elected officials and spending less than 20 percent of time on advocacy activities
  • Represent the interests of the industry as a whole (including patients)
  • Provide information with an express bias
  • Providing technical assistance in response to requested information
  • Directly supporting or opposing pieces of legislation, regulations or rules
  • Educating policy makers with facts, possible consequences or results of proposed legislation, regulations or rules
  • Communicating a specific view of proposed policies to decision makers
  • Assisting in finding consensus-based solutions to consistent and continuous problems
  • Ask government officials for specific action on a policy
  • Creating awareness among decision makers of both specific issues affecting the general public or a sector thereof as well as resolutions to said issue
  • Imparting NCPDP’s knowledge of the industry and its unique complexities
  • Create or initiate a campaign encouraging organization members or the public to contact policy makers in hopes of a specific outcome
  • Updating organization members of status in regards to specific legislation or policies without a call to action
  • Strictly defined by the IRS and the Lobby Disclosure Act
  • Provide nonpartisan and unbiased discussion materials
  • May include EDvocacy
  • Does not include lobbying
How is EDvocacy different than other associations’ efforts?

While other associations generally represent the interests of one industry stakeholder group, NCPDP is multi-stakeholder forum, representing virtually every stakeholder group in the healthcare/pharmacy ecosystem. Our ANSI-accredited standards and other solutions are developed using our consensus-based process, which has stood the test of time and provides a flexible, interoperable and sustainable framework for the industry. Many organizations engage in lobbying; NCPDP does not engage in lobbying.

What are some examples of EDvocacy outcomes?

Our EDvocacy efforts are having an impact every time NCPDP is contacted to discuss an issue or solution, answer specific questions or provide documentation, such as a white paper. This is already happening at the policymaking level and has happened continuously at the member-to-member (or member-to-nonmember) level throughout the history of NCPDP.

Here are a couple examples of EDvocacy outcomes:

Creating awareness of NCPDP’s forums - The leader of the CDC’s PROTECT (Preventing Overdoses & Treatment Errors in Children Taskforce) Initiative brought an issue to NCPDP related to dosing of oral liquid medications, based on NCPDP’s success in addressing and mobilizing the industry to take action on other patient safety issues. Creating awareness of NCPDP as an educational resource - Policymakers and state representatives have contacted NCPDP to better understand the challenges of PDMPs and how standards may be leveraged to address drug diversion and safe access for patients with a valid medical need.

See NCPDP Annual Reports for more information on NCPDP’s EDvocacy initiative.

What does NCPDP do in its EDvocacy activities?

NCPDP’s EDvocacy activities include meeting with industry leaders and representatives from healthcare organizations, government agencies, industry associations, policymakers, and others. We introduce and/or reinforce who we are and our successes.

Our EDvocacy also involves active listening. It is important to learn about the issues and concerns that are raised by the people with whom we meet. Once we understand the need, we share information on relevant standards, guidance, and related issues that are currently being developed by NCPDP’s work groups. When possible, we will provide informational fact sheets as reference material, and help make connections with other subject matter experts who may be helpful resources in understanding all sides of an issue or solution. We also discuss NCPDP’s role as the industry forum for addressing complex healthcare issues.

What is the main focus of EDvocacy?

NCPDP’s EDvocacy initiative works to expand awareness of NCPDP, our solutions and forums. With NCPDP standards, for example, while many are aware that the standards exist, there is the opportunity to share information on underutilized functionality that is inherent in the standards. The robust functionality built into the standards can improve point-of-care clinical decision making and benefit patients. Our patient safety and other industry guidance documents are developed to address specific industry issues; they can be leveraged to fortify patient safety and improve administrative efficiencies.

By increasing awareness of NCPDP, our solutions and forums can be used to solve healthcare challenges. NCPDP’s stakeholder action groups provide a forum for understanding and analyzing industry issues from multiple perspectives and outlining the next steps toward a collaborative solution. Our work groups and task groups provide the various industry perspectives and expertise and do the time intensive work of resolving issues and developing solutions. Recent solutions include transactions for electronic prior authorization, and a proposed, national solution for prescription drug monitoring programs.

Why is it important for NCPDP to have an EDvocacy initiative?

EDvocacy had existed as an informal NCPDP practice long before we coined the term. It is characterized by the ongoing activities of our members and staff, actively seeking to educate and share information about NCPDP, its process and outcomes. In 2013, NCPDP formalized its EDvocacy initiative, naming the process and expanding the scope of activities to encompass visits with industry leaders and policymakers.

NCPDP represents a unique vantage point, providing a forum and process that require virtually all healthcare industry stakeholder groups to consider the various perspectives on an issue and develop industry solutions by consensus. As such, we are in a privileged position to understand all aspects of an issue and share information for more informed decision making.

Through EDvocacy, we increase awareness of NCPDP, its forums, and consensus-based standards and other patient safety solutions that can help address some of today’s healthcare challenges. It is imperative that we share our knowledge and continue to serve as a problem-solving forum in order to be true to our mission and vision.