WASHINGTON – As President Trump signs H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, several National Community Pharmacists Association-supported provisions contained in the opioid package become law. NCPA chief executive officer B. Douglas Hoey and Karry La Violette, NCPA’s senior vice president of government affairs and director of the Advocacy Center, represented community pharmacy at today’s White House event and bill signing. This is NCPA’s second invitation to the White House this month.
As part of efforts collaborating on the opioid relief package, NCPA successfully worked to see that it would require the development and distribution of materials to train pharmacists on circumstances when they are allowed under law to decline to fill a prescription for a controlled substance. Also included is a provision that would require e-prescribing for Schedule II through V controlled substances under Medicare Part D, starting in 2021. NCPA advocacy resulted in exemptions for skilled nursing facility patients and language to ensure e-prescribing would not infringe on a patient’s right to go to a pharmacy of their choice. Additionally, Missouri pharmacy owner Richard Logan Jr. testified on behalf of NCPA about possible solutions to the epidemic and the role of pharmacists in treating patients and helping to stop the opioid crisis at a congressional hearing on this package held earlier this year.
“Community pharmacists remain on the front lines, fighting against this epidemic and working to educate patients on appropriate use of opioids, safeguard against addition, and promote proper disposal of prescription opioids,” Hoey said. “We applaud provisions in this package that will help us do these things and help the millions of Americans affected by opioid use disorders, though we know the work on this is far from over. With National Prescription Drug Takeback Day just a few short days away on Oct. 27, what a fitting week for President Trump to be signing the bipartisan opioid relief package into law.”
In addition to collaborating on the opioids package, NCPA is a partner in Allied Against Opioid Abuse, a coalition of organizations that has funded development and dissemination of resources to help pharmacists engage with and educate patients and prescribers about the safe use, storage, and disposal of prescription opioids. Click here to learn more about this pharmacy initiative.