The National Community Pharmacists Association has voiced its support for a federal bill, introduced by Rep. Tom Marino (R., Pa.), aimed at reducing the abuse of prescription drugs by promoting more collaboration among stakeholders and enacting new safeguards.


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NCPA endorses legislation to combat Rx abuse

February 19th, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association has voiced its support for a federal bill, introduced by Rep. Tom Marino (R., Pa.), aimed at reducing the abuse of prescription drugs by promoting more collaboration among stakeholders and enacting new safeguards.

NCPA said Wednesday that the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act (H.R. 4069) would amend the Controlled Substances Act.

Specifically, the proposed legislation would require manufacturers and distributors registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to ensure that their employees with access to controlled substances undergo criminal background checks and drug tests.

In addition, the measure would create a "Combating Prescription Drug Abuse Working Group" comprised of federal and state officials and private-sector stakeholders to examine ways to thwart drug abuse and diversion. Members of the panel would include a representative of community pharmacy, NCPA said.

"America is in the throes of a prescription drug abuse crisis," NCPA chief executive officer B. Douglas Hoey said in a statement. "No one wants to address it more than community pharmacists, who are the experts in the proper use of prescription medication and who understand the consequences of drug diversion and abuse. We commend Rep. Marino for his leadership in this area.

"Our support for this legislation reflects the constructive approach that NCPA has taken to working with federal and state policymakers, law enforcement and all stakeholders in support of effective, practical solutions to the prescription drug abuse epidemic, while preserving access to medication for those with legitimate health needs," Hoey added.

NCPA noted that in presentations to Congress, the Food and Drug Administration and the DEA, it has recommended steps to fight prescription drug abuse such as the utilization of electronic prescription drug monitoring programs and tracking systems, more effective education of prescribers, shutting down rogue pain clinics, offering more disposal options for excess medications, and more scrutiny of controlled substances delivered by mail order pharmacies.

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