GPhA Calls for Uniform, Achievable National System for Securing Nation’s Drug Supply Chain

Published Online: Thursday, April 25, 2013
Follow Pharmacy_Times:

WASHINGTON, DC (April 25, 2013) — At today’s House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing entitled “Securing Our Nation's Prescription Drug Supply Chain,” Christine Simmon, GPhA’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Strategic Alliances, voiced support for a “building blocks” approach to securing the nation’s supply chain.

“We believe that every American deserves a uniform, nationwide system for monitoring and protecting the medicines they rely on,” said Simmon. To fully realize the benefits of an improved system, it is critical that we construct a path that both improves safety and provides a practical roadmap for implementation.” She continued, “The House bill includes sensible and achievable elements that will go a long way to securing the nation’s medicine supply. Making these changes is a serious and complex undertaking, and will require a thoughtful, incremental approach.”

Simmon noted that generic manufacturers supported many of the elements in discussion drafts of bills under consideration, including a major improvement in traceability for medicines. Generic manufacturers have committed to improving this process through identifying products at the unit level and to managing the data in their systems.

GPhA also welcomed the e-labeling provision included in the House version of the bill, which Simmon said would increase patient safety and provide the standard of efficient information exchange that American consumers have come to expect.

In contrast, Simmon warned the law in California is unproven and will be costly, and could pave the way for fifty separate systems that don’t work together. Creation of a uniform standard would represent a great leap forward for patients by improving the identifying information about medicines on the market today, improving the ability for law enforcement to detect counterfeiters, and making any needed recalls or returns more timely and efficient.

Related Articles
GPhA has agreed to support compromise automatic substitution legislation that would allow interchangeable biologics to be automatically substituted at the pharmacy. This step brings millions of Americans closer to the day when they will be able to access safe alternatives to costly biologic medicines. Indeed, Express Scripts projects savings of $250 billion in 10 years should only the 11 likeliest biosimilars enter the market.
Today Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) introduced H.R. 5815, The Generic Drug Pricing Fairness Act, which creates greater transparency in how pharmacy benefit managers reimburse pharmacies for generic prescription drugs under Medicare Part D, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The National Community Pharmacists Association endorsed the bill, which goes further than legislation the same two Congressmen introduced earlier year that has the same remedies, but only applied to Medicare Part D.
“GPhA applauds FDA for taking helpful steps to address, and hopefully limit, scenarios in which some brand drug companies misuse Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies programs to thwart competition from more affordable generic drugs. The ongoing abuse of REMS and REMS-like programs costs the American health system and its patients $5.4 billion annually, according to a study conducted by Matrix Global Advisors. Interestingly, as the United States market readies for biosimilars, this same study identifies $140 million in lost savings that would occur for every $1 billion in biologics sales.
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association announced that it has named Terry Bazyluk as Vice President for Communications, effective December 1, 2014.
Latest Issues