NACDS says FDA's "new paradigm" has potential

May 15, 2012
From staff reports
From staff reports

Pharmacists play a vital role in FDA's "new paradigm" for a third class of drugs, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

Pharmacists would play a vital role in FDA’s “new paradigm” for a third class of drugs, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).

NACDS submitted comments to FDA last week in conjunction with the agency’s public hearing, “Using Innovative Technologies and Other Conditions of Safe Use to Expand Which Drug Products Can be Considered Nonprescription.”

Community pharmacies serve as high-quality and accessible health and wellness centers, according to NACDS. “Pharmacists also provide vital patient care through their participation in collaborative practice agreements and their expanding role in providing immunizations. Pharmacists are uniquely positioned and qualified to take on these expanded roles,” NACDS stated in its comments.

There are already arrangements in 34 states allowing pharmacists to engage in collaborative practice agreements with physicians, according to NACDS. “Under this type of arrangement, pharmacists serve as physician extenders and help to monitor and carry out physicians’ drug therapy plans for their patients,” NACDS stated.

NACDS said it is cautiously optimistic about FDA’s creation of a new paradigm. “Structured properly, this new paradigm has the potential to increase access, improve patient compliance, and reduce healthcare costs. However, a flawed structure could result in a group of drugs with limited access, reduced compliance, and lacking in a clear compensation policy for pharmacies,” NACDS stated.