The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and a coalition of health care stakeholders have issued a consensus document outlining steps to help ensure responsible, effective patient care in the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.


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NABP helps build consensus on controlled substance prescriptions

February 5th, 2014

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. – The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and a coalition of health care stakeholders have issued a consensus document outlining steps to help ensure responsible, effective patient care in the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.

NABP said late Tuesday that the consensus document stresses the need to work collaboratively to stem the prescription drug abuse epidemic and help health professionals comply with their legal duties in prescribing, dispensing and distributing controlled substance medications.

The 13 organizations in the coalition — including the nation's three largest drug chains and leading retail pharmacy groups — represent physicians, pharmacists, pharmacies, regulatory boards, wholesalers, manufacturers and government agencies.

Plans call for the coalition to develop two subsequent consensus documents, according to NABP. The first will identify the "red flags" that warrant the need to review the legitimacy of controlled substance prescriptions. The second will outline the actions that can be taken to improve dialogue so that the red flags are addressed, in compliance with federal and state law, and so health professionals are supported in delivering the appropriate patient care.

NABP noted that some policies recently implemented by stakeholders were designed to protect patients and prevent prescription drug abuse, yet participants agreed that coordination and collaboration must be improved to ensure that this public health problem is addressed and patients get responsible and effective care.

"The dialogue and consensus among organizations representing the spectrum of the health care team will be instrumental in ensuring that patients with legitimate medical needs receive the most appropriate and safest medication therapy," NABP president Karen Ryle said in a statement. "By coordinating on actions that help reduce rates of prescription drug abuse, the forthcoming stakeholder discussions and ongoing collaboration will benefit patient care and the public health."

The consensus document arose from stakeholder meetings convened by NABP in October and December. The document was finalized at the December meeting and was developed by NABP and the following organizations: American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, Cardinal Health, CVS Caremark, Federation of State Medical Boards (observer), National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Community Pharmacists Association, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Rite Aid Corp. and Walgreen Co.

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