Industry-supported bill on prescription drug diversion passes House committee

WASHINGTON — The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday advanced bipartisan legislation sponsored by full committee vice chair Marsha Blackburn to address the nation’s growing prescription drug abuse epidemic. 

H.R. 4709, the Ensuring Patient Access to Effective Drug Enforcement Act, introduced by Reps. Blackburn, R-Tenn., Tom Marino, R-Pa., Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Judy Chu, D-Calif., would help prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion and ensure patient access to necessary medications by creating a more collaborative partnership between drug manufacturers, wholesalers, retail pharmacies and federal enforcement and oversight agencies. 

“The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s vote today demonstrates the importance of this critical, bipartisan legislation and its ability to foster greater collaboration and transparency between supply chain stakeholders and federal regulators to address prescription drug abuse and diversion," stated John Gray, president and CEO for the Healthcare Distribution Management Association. "The bill will allow companies registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to submit corrective action plans to address DEA concerns, and clarify key terminology in the Controlled Substances Act to better delineate registrant responsibilities under the law."

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