House Approves Anti-Drug Abuse Bill Supported by NCPA

April 21, 2015

NCPA supports this legislation in the hope that it can help achieve a better balance to reduce prescription drug abuse while ensuring those patients with chronic, debilitating pain have access to essential medications.

PRESS RELEASE

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 21, 2015) — National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following statement in response to passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act (H.R. 471), introduced by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.):

“NCPA supports this legislation in the hope that it can help achieve a better balance to reduce prescription drug abuse while ensuring those patients with chronic, debilitating pain have access to essential medications.

“Currently the state of federal law enforcement coordination and communication with private health care stakeholders is woefully inadequate. As a result, patients with legitimate medical needs and community pharmacists experience the collateral damage of blunt-force tactics such as arbitrary quotas on supplies of controlled substances and abrupt supply cut-offs. A survey of 1,000 community pharmacists documented how their ability to serve patients is greatly hindered by surprise disruptions to an unpredictable supply chain.

“H.R. 471 can help facilitate more effective dialogue between law enforcement and private industry. In cases where potential problems may arise, the legislation would give pharmacies the opportunity to submit a corrective action plan to ensure compliance with federal requirements and without the revocation or suspension of the pharmacy’s license to dispense controlled substances. In addition, the legislation would require a federal report, with the input of pharmacies, to examine obstacles to legitimate patient access to controlled substances and how collaboration between federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies and the pharmaceutical industry can benefit patients and prevent diversion and abuse of controlled substances.”