ARLINGTON, Va. — In lead-up to a House Panel hearing on Thursday, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted a statement expressing its support for the leadership and efforts of Congress and the Food and Drug Administration in taking common-sense approaches in safeguarding the process of delivering prescription medications to patients.
The hearing is being held by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee titled, “Budget Hearing — Food and Drug Administration.”
In its statement, NACDS cited pharmacy’s work to help shape the Drug Quality and Security Act, its ongoing advocacy and engagement in the implementation of the new law, and its long-term efforts to safeguard the drug distribution supply chain.
“Chain pharmacies wholeheartedly support efforts to secure the U.S. drug distribution supply chain. They have invested significant resources and efforts toward this goal over many years, including changes in their purchasing practices, and actively supporting state legislation that strengthened supply chain integrity,” NACDS said in its statement.
NACDS also stressed the need to address the problem of illegitimate Internet drug sellers to help protect U.S. consumers from counterfeit and adulterated medications, and recognized FDA’s efforts to educate consumers and healthcare providers about the risks of illegal online drug sellers.
“We support targeting illegal Internet drug sellers through the chokepoint approach. Under this approach, Internet service entities and companies — such as domain name registrars that issue websites, financial entities that handle payment transactions for online sales, Internet Service Providers that provide information from the Internet and common carriers that provide the mailing services — would have authority to stop illicit transactions at their point of interaction with these bad actors,” NACDS said in its statement.
NACDS also urged Congress and the FDA to provide an Internet portal so that consumers and healthcare providers would have the ability to check if an online website offering to sell medications is legitimate.
In its statement, the association urged Congress to provide the FDA with requisite funding necessary to establish an abbreviated approval pathway for biosimilars and interchangeable versions of biological products.
“For the benefit of the patients we serve, we have urged the agency to make establishing this pathway among its highest priorities. Increasing generic drug utilization is one of the most effective ways to control healthcare costs,” NACDS said in its statement.
“We believe that the U.S. supply chain is one of the safest, if not the safest, in the world. The strength and commitment of chain pharmacies and other U.S. supply chain stakeholders are key components in helping achieve this security,” NACDS said in its statement.