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The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is applauding the U.S. House of Representatives’ recent passage of a bill designed to curb prescription drug abuse while protecting patient access to controlled substances.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is applauding the U.S. House of Representatives’ recent passage of a bill designed to curb prescription drug abuse while protecting patient access to controlled substances.
U.S. Reps. Tom Marino (R-PA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Judy Chu (D-CA) sponsored H.R. 471. It directs the Department of Health and Human Services to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy to identify obstacles to legitimate patients getting controlled substances, and to prevent diversion and abuse.
Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have introduced a similar bill in the U.S. Senate that has yet to be voted on.
“We appreciate the leadership of Reps. Marino, Welch, Blackburn, and Chu in bringing this important bill to the full House for a vote,” said Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, NACDS’ president and CEO. “And we also appreciate the support by Rep. Jolly, who is witnessing this problem first-hand in his congressional district, and understands the severe challenges of this overarching problem across Florida.”
In addressing the tremendous problem of drug diversion and drug abuse, some pharmacy groups believe the DEA has made it too difficult for legitimate patients to obtain painkillers.
“Addressing one problem can lead to unintended consequences. That’s why the passage of H.R. 471 today is paramount,” Anderson said. “It looks at the big picture and seeks to bring together all stakeholders – patients, law enforcement, pharmacy, prescribers, and others – to find the best solution to prevent abuse and addiction and ensure that patients have access to their medications.”
Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) said many legitimate patients in Florida have been victimized by efforts to stop drug abuse. “The key to this legislation is collaboration and coordination,” Jolly said. “This commonsense measure will help us more effectively fight prescription drug abuse while ensuring that Americans are able to get their needed pain medications.”