Kerr Drug CEO Tony Civello was in Washington, D.C., this week to meet with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Civello, who is a past chairman of the National Association Chain Drug Stores, was representing the association, which was invited to the White House event Wednesday to discuss the economy.
While there, Civello urged the president and vice president to extend a temporary increase in funding to state Medicaid programs beyond its scheduled termination at the end of this year.
"One of the problems we see is that if pharmacy access, for example, is diminished, patients are less likely to take their medications as appropriate. Any short-term savings are outweighed by short- and long-term costs that result from serious health complications requiring more expensive medical treatments," he said. "By one estimate, failure to take medications as prescribed, or lack of medication adherence as we call it, leads to $290 billion in annual healthcare costs, or 13 percent of total annual healthcare expenditures."