The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has endorsed a congressional proposal to establish a workgroup to collaborate on solutions to reduce prescription drug abuse and without comprising access to medications.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has endorsed a congressional proposal to establish a workgroup to collaborate on solutions to reduce prescription drug abuse and without comprising access to medications.
Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Tom Marino (R-PA) introduced the bill, HR 4069, “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2013”.
“NACDS and chain pharmacy are committed to partnering with federal and state agencies, law enforcement personnel, policymakers, and other stakeholders to work on viable strategies to simultaneously advance patient health and prevent prescription drug abuse,” said Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, NACDS’ president and CEO “This legislation is an important step in addressing one of the most complex public health problems of our day.”
The workgroup would include both healthcare and law enforcement representatives, such as FDA officials, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials, and officials from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Additionally, patient advocates, pharmacy representative, prescribers, hospitals officials, wholesalers, state attorneys general, and law enforcement officials would also participate in the group.
In recent years, DEA has cracked down on pharmacies, doctors, wholesalers, and others whom it considers have contributed to the surge in overdose deaths and drug diversion. However, the crackdown has made it more difficult for legitimate patients to get pain medications.
“It makes perfect sense that problems like drug abuse and meeting patients’ needs merit the highest form of collaboration among experts in government and in the private sector, but the best of intentions do not always provide that,” Anderson said. “We commend Reps. Marino and Blackburn for moving forward with this important concept.”