APhA, NCPA back proposal for new nonprescription class of drugs

March 27, 2012

The American Pharmacists Association and the National Community Pharmacists Association supported a new nonprescription class of drugs at FDA?s public hearing last week.

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) supported a new nonprescription class of drugs at FDA’s public hearing last week.

“NCPA members fully support a nonprescription class of drugs with conditions of safe use and believe such a class will have a positive impact in enhancing public health, if used appropriately with pharmacist intervention,” said Beverly Schaefer, RPh, owner of Katterman’s Sand Point Pharmacy in Seattle.

Schaefer testified on behalf of NCPA at the hearing, Using Innovative Technologies and Other Conditions of Safe Use to Expand Which Drug Products Can be Considered Nonprescription.

“Benefits of the class include increased access to healthcare, improved utilization of healthcare resources, increased adherence to chronic use medications, decreased overall healthcare costs, and improved collaboration between members of the healthcare team,” she added.

APhA also supports FDA’s proposal of a nonprescription class of drugs, which it says will provide an opportunity for pharmacists to help improve public health.

“APhA greatly appreciates FDA referencing the use of a pharmacist intervention as a possible ‘condition of safe use,’ in addition to the use of innovative technologies. We believe that more opportunities for pharmacist-patient interventions and communication will lead to improved medication use and improved health outcomes,” said Thomas E. Menighan, BS Pharm, executive vice president and CEO of APhA, at the hearing.

The new paradigm being considered by the FDA can build on the successful immunization public health model, according to Menighan. “We would hope to implement new training processes, scale-up across pharmacy practice settings, and collaborate with the medical community to help fill the needs of our patients and improve public health,” Menighan said.