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NACDS backs bill to curb prescription drug abuse
February 25th, 2014
ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has endorsed the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2013 (H.R. 4069), which seeks a collaborative approach to thwarting prescription drug abuse.
NACDS said Tuesday that the legislation, introduced by U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.), who is vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Tom Marino (R., Pa.), would form a workgroup to explore opportunities to reduce prescription drug abuse without impeding access to medications for patients who legitimately need them.
"NACDS and chain pharmacy are committed to partnering with federal and state agencies, law enforcement personnel, policymakers and other stakeholders to work on viable strategies to simultaneously advance patient health and prevent prescription drug abuse," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in a statement. "This legislation is an important step in addressing one of the most complex public health problems of our day."
The workgroup would include representation of health care and law enforcement entities of up to 20 individuals, according to NACDS. The body would include representatives of the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, as well as organizations representing patients, pharmacies, prescribers, hospitals, wholesalers, state attorneys general, law enforcement officials and others with expertise in this area.
"It makes perfect sense that problems like drug abuse and meeting patients' needs merit the highest form of collaboration among experts in government and in the private sector, but the best of intentions do not always provide that. We commend Reps. Marino and Blackburn for moving forward with this important concept," Anderson added.
Last week, the National Community Pharmacists Association also expressed its support for the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, which would amend the Controlled Substances Act.
In July, NACDS also voiced its support for legislation (S. 1277) introduced by U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) that would create a federal commission to address abuse of prescription drugs.