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.