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NACDS to Congress: PDMPs key to thwarting Rx abuse
November 21st, 2013
ARLINGTON, Va. – In lead-up to a hearing of the Subcommittee on Health of the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores highlighted the collaborative role that pharmacy plays in helping curb prescription drug abuse and drug diversion.
NACDS said that in its statement to the committee, submitted on Wednesday, the association also gave recommendations to better integrate prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in pharmacies across the nation.
The statement emphasized that the chain pharmacy industry is committed to partnering with federal and state agencies, law enforcement agencies, policymakers and others to foster strategies to thwart abuse of prescription medications, such as PDMPs.
"Our members are engaged daily in activities with the goal of preventing drug abuse," NACDS said in the statement. "Pharmacies submit information on the controlled substances they dispense. This includes information on the patient, prescribed drug dosage and quantity, and the prescriber. This information allows the state to conduct confidential reviews to determine any patterns of potential abuse or diversion.
“While most individuals take prescription medications responsibly, we recognize that the potential exists for controlled substances to be diverted and abused," the association explained. "Most states now utilize PDMPs as a tool to curb controlled substance abuse. Chain pharmacies work with state PDMPs in all states that have them."
NACDS suggested solutions to ensure that PDMPs be designed to not be administratively burdensome or disruptive to patient care in the pharmacy.
In addition, NACDS stressed the importance of consistency of reporting requirements to improve interstate operability; providing sufficient time for pharmacies to comply with the PDMP integration requirements; the establishment of a national aggregated controlled substance database versus a patchwork of state databases; and expanding and expediting the use of electronic prescribing for controlled substances.
"E-prescribing holds great promise to generate a robust database of real-time information that could be used by DEA, state enforcement officers, pharmacies, insurers, wholesalers and other partners to assist with the proactive identification of prescription drug abuse," NACDS pointed out.
NACDS also reiterated its support for legislation that would reauthorize the National All-Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act (NASPER).
"We believe that PDMPs are critical tools in combating prescription drug abuse, and we encourage providing resources to ensure the viability of PDMPs," the association stated.