WASHINGTON Peter Wolfgram, president and chief executive officer of Bungalow Drug, testified today in front of the Senate Committee on Finance regarding the role of community pharmacy in the solution to methamphetamine production.
Speaking on behalf of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Wolfgram expressed his concerns before the committee as a representative of the 39,000 pharmacies and almost 1,000 suppliers of products and services to the chain drug industry that are included in NACDS’ membership. He addressed the problems of methamphetamine production and the steps taken by pharmacies to curb domestic production. He urged the committee to take appropriate measures to stem the flow of methamphetamine from abroad, and pledged that NACDS will continue working with Congress to help curb the illicit use and production of methamphetamine.
Bungalow Drug is a family-owned, hometown pharmacy chain based in Belgrade, Montana. The company provides pharmacy services for approximately 3,000 patients out of three locations in Montana with 24 employees including eight full- and part-time pharmacists. “Mr. Wolfgram brings a vast amount of chain drug experience to the table and we are pleased to have him testify on our behalf to address the proactive role of community pharmacy as part of the solution to drug abuse,” stated NACDS president and chief executive officer, Steve Anderson.
While the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act or “Combat Meth Act” created a national standard for retailers to follow in order to limit access to methamphetamine precursors, and significantly reduced domestic methamphetamine production, the foreign supply is increasing as those addicted search out alternative sources of methamphetamine outside U.S. borders.
Even before the law was implemented, pharmacists had been taking proactive steps to reduce the theft and illegitimate use of products containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, including restricting sales, placing these products behind pharmacy and/or sales counters and participating in other drug-awareness activities.
“Chain drug stores will continue to advocate for policies and practices that will be truly effective in cutting off the methamphetamine supply chain and addressing other drug abuse issues in a way that does not limit the legitimate sale and use of medication that patients rely on,” said Anderson. “We applaud Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus [D-Mont.] for his commitment to combating illegal drug manufacturing and abuse, and for listening to those, like community pharmacy personnel, who live out their commitment to this cause every day.”