Retail pharmacists angered by prescription drug abuse ad campaign

March 6, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association criticized a new ad campaign that implies that retail pharmacists are not doing all they can to curb prescription drug abuse.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) criticized a new ad campaign that infers that retail pharmacists are not doing all they can to curb prescription drug abuse.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) released an ad last week corresponding with the March 1 U.S. House of Representatives hearing, “Prescription Drug Diversion: Combating the Scourge.” The ad states that pharmacists should be asked the following questions about dispensing certain narcotics:

Should pharmacists check law-enforcement databases to stop “pharmacy shopping” for narcotics?

Why is the drug-store lobby trying to limit pharmacy fraud and abuse enforcement?

Does the drug-store lobby really need new tax incentives to comply with its own code of ethics?

PCMA’s “divisive and deceptive” ad marks a “new low” for pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), John Coster, RPh, PhD, NCPA’s senior vice president for government affairs, said in a news release. “Community pharmacies typically know their patients and their doctors – something the PBMs can’t say – which helps reduce diversion and abuse,” Coster said.

“At a time when Congress, federal and local law enforcement, and the entire pharmaceutical supply chain should be working together to address the national epidemic of prescription drug abuse and pharmacy crime, this irresponsible ad embodies the type of finger-pointing and passing-the-buck that will only undermine legitimate and comprehensive solutions,” Coster added.

PCMA did not return a request from Drug Topics for comment.