NACDS statement to Senate reflects pharmacy's commitment to patient care, safer communities

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Wednesday that it has submitted a statement to the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, detailing chain pharmacy’s engagement in the prevention of prescription drug abuse, and its commitment to maintaining patients’ ready access to medications vital for pain management and for treatment regimens.

NACDS submitted its statement for the Caucus’ hearing on “Responding to the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic.”

"Chain pharmacies have zero tolerance for prescription drug abuse,” NACDS stated. “NACDS and the chain pharmacy industry are committed to partnering with law enforcement agencies, policymakers, and others to work on viable strategies to prevent prescription drug abuse.”

While emphasizing chain pharmacy’s extensive engagement on this issue, NACDS urged, “As we pursue solutions to the problem of prescription drug abuse, it is critical that we do not place undue burdens on legitimate patients who require prescription medications.”

NACDS described chain pharmacy’s proactive role on a daily basis in working to keep communities safe and helping to prevent the human costs of illegal prescription drug use, including the following:

  • Training of chain pharmacy personnel and the implementation of various company policies and procedures to help prevent diversion and abuse;

  • Compliance with Drug Enforcement Administration inspections and regulations and Food and Drug Administration regulations;

  • Frequent dialogue with DEA officials;

  • Loss prevention and internal security systems;

  • Participation in state-controlled prescription drug monitoring programs;

  • Support for FDA’s use of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies;

  • Collaboration with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and support for public education programs;

  • Advancement of e-prescribing, including accelerated deployment of e-prescribing of controlled substances;

  • Support for law-enforcement-authorized programs for the return and disposal of unwanted prescription drugs;

  • Cooperation with local law enforcement;

  • Targeting and continued crack-down on illegitimate online drug sellers; and

  • Support for efforts to shut down rogue pain clinics.

“NACDS and our members are committed to the health and welfare of our patients, as well as all Americans, including ensuring that they do not fall victim to prescription drug abuse. The prescription drug abuse problem can be successfully curbed. However, chain pharmacy cannot solve this problem alone. There must be a holistic approach. All affected stakeholders, including every sector mentioned in this document must work proactively to tackle and resolve this problem. We all must work together at the federal, state, and local levels,” NACDS stated.

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