NACDS: Pharmacy a Key Player in 21st Century Cures Initiative
NACDS also urges comprehensive approach to curbing prescription drug abuse that also ensures patient access.
Arlington, Va. — Leading up to today’s congressional hearing on the 21st Century Cures draft legislation introduced this week, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) submitted comments in support of this initiative to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery process of lifesaving new drug treatments for patients. The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce conducted a hearing on the bill today.
“As the face of neighborhood healthcare, retail pharmacies can play an important role in the delivery of new lifesaving drug treatments that result from the 21st Century Cures Initiative,” NACDS stated in its comments to the committee.
Launched in 2014 by U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and committee member Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), the 21st Century Cures Initiative focuses on the future of healthcare delivery, including modernized clinical trials; integrating the patient perspective in the regulatory process; better sharing of information; investing in the future of science and incentivizing new drugs and devices. NACDS expressed support for the 21st Century Cures Initiative following last year’s launch as well.
“Within the context of the 21st Century Cures Initiative, community pharmacy’s value is amplified through the growing efforts of the industry to provide health education and disease state testing and management,” NACDS stated in its comments to the committee. “Through personal interactions with patients and face-to-face consultations, pharmacies are helping to shape the healthcare delivery system of tomorrow, in partnership with doctors, nurses and others.”
NACDS also urged the committee to take a deliberative and thoughtful approach to implementing policies restricting access to prescription medications.
“While we share the legislation’s goal of combatting prescription drug abuse and diversion, we also believe that any potential programs must ensure legitimate beneficiary access to needed medications is not impeded. Protections should be in place to allow a pharmacy, in consultation with the prescriber, to fill legitimate prescriptions without needlessly delaying treatment for beneficiaries,” NACDS stated in its comments.
“We look forward to working with the Subcommittee in developing policy and legislative ideas to ensure the success of the 21st Century Cures Initiative,” NACDS concluded in its comments.