Retail News Breaks Archives
White House Rx abuse strategy hailed by NACDS
May 16th, 2011
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has sent a letter to the Office of National Drug Control Policy to show its support of the White House's strategy to prevent and reduce prescription drug diversion and misuse.
NACDS said Friday that its comments in the letter come in the wake of the administration's report "Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis," which was released last month and detailed its policy recommendations.
"We appreciate the Obama administration's recently released plan for responding to the current prescription drug abuse crisis and would like to voice our support for the administration's plan," NACDS stated in the letter.
In the note to the White House, NACDS highlighted the beneficial uses of prescription medications as well as the ways in which pharmacists assist patients in taking their medicines properly to help them adhere to their drug therapies.
"As the administration's plan recognizes, there are a variety of ways to curb prescription
drug diversion, and chain pharmacies actively work on many initiatives to reduce this
problem," the letter said. "Services provided by community pharmacies could assist with the prevention and reduction of prescription drug diversion and abuse."
The association noted that chain pharmacies also partner with law enforcement and participate in state-run prescription drug monitoring programs (PMPs), which aim to reduce prescription drug misuse and diversion as well as "doctor shopping," in which prescriptions are sought from multiple physicians at the same time.
"We support the administration's plans to enhance and increase utilization of these [PMP] programs among prescribers and to provide federal, state and local officials with the resources they need to utilize these tools to the maximum benefit," the letter said.
In addition, NACDS stressed the importance of protecting patient health and safety and the security of the U.S. prescription drug supply chain by maintaining a separation between prescription dispensing locations and drug take-back locations. The association expressed its prior support for a Drug Enforcement Administration-sanctioned prescription mail-back program.
Also in the letter to the White House, NACDS thanked the Food and Drug Administration for its "step-wise approach" to its Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for opioids, which incorporated pharmacy's concerns.
Last month, NACDS and the National Community Pharmacists Association submitted comments to Congress to spotlight pharmacy's efforts with law enforcement agencies and others in battling prescription drug diversion and misuse.