July 29, 2014, Arlington, Va. — A bipartisan bill that calls for a collaborative, coordinated approach to curbing prescription drug abuse and safeguarding patients is headed to the U.S. House for a vote later today.
The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2013 (H.R. 4709) would establish a congressionally-mandated report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to explore opportunities to better coordinate federal and stakeholder activities in addressing prescription drug abuse and diversion without compromising access to medications for patients who legitimately need them.
Sponsored by Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), and cosponsored by ten representatives, the bill’s designated HHS report would be facilitated in consultation with the Drug Enforcement Agency and Office of the National Drug Control Policy, and with input from specific stakeholders, including pharmacy.
“We applaud Reps. Marino and Blackburn for their leadership on this bipartisan bill, and commend the House for bringing the bill to a vote, said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “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. Today’s vote is a step closer to achieving these goals.”
“Looking ahead, we urge the U.S. Senate to move swiftly in passing legislation that will achieve this vital goal," said Anderson.