Retail News Breaks
NACDS, NCPA speak out on Rx diversion
April 15th, 2011
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association have submitted comments to Congress to spotlight pharmacy's commitment to team with law enforcement agencies and others to help prevent and combat prescription drug diversion and misuse.
NACDS said Thursday that its statement was submitted to the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade for a hearing titled, "Warning: The Growing Danger of Prescription Drug Diversion."
"Chain pharmacies participate in state controlled substance prescription drug monitoring programs. In addition, we are devoted to important initiatives to improve patients' adherence to their prescribed medications. Chain pharmacies and their pharmacists work with their patients daily to provide them with information and counseling on the proper use of their prescription medications and the importance of adhering to their prescription drug treatment," NACDS wrote in its statement.
In addition, NACDS' statement outlined recommendations to federal policymakers, including strengthening state-level prescription drug monitoring programs, compensating pharmacy-provided medication therapy management services and shutting down illegal online drug sellers.
"Further, NACDS and our member companies support policies that work to prevent illegitimate Internet drug sellers from selling or offering to sell drugs to U.S. consumers in violation of federal and state laws," NACDS noted. "We also support efforts to provide patients with means for disposal of their unwanted medications that are authorized by law enforcement."
NCPA pointed out that although local pharmacists work with patients and law enforcement to fight the abuse of controlled substances and other prescription drugs, changes to federal policy are needed to allow pharmacists to play a greater role.
"NCPA is committed to working with members of Congress and state and local law enforcement officials to combat the inappropriate use and diversion of prescription drugs and is committed to working towards sensible solutions," NCPA stated in its comments to the House subcommittee.
The association explained that community pharmacists support national and local efforts to prevent the abuse of prescription and nonprescription drugs, but it also noted that Congress should not diminish access to effective pain treatments for people who need them. What's more, consumers want convenient and clear drug disposal options and find local pharmacies to be the most convenient site to return unused or expired medicines, the group stated, adding that over 1,200 community pharmacies are voluntarily participating in NCPA's Dispose My Meds disposal program.
NCPA, too, cited illegal Internet pharmacies as a big contributor to drug diversion. The association said it supports efforts to control illicit distribution of controlled substances outside the community pharmacy setting and strongly recommended that increased emphasis and oversight be placed on those entities.
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