House vote expected on bipartisan bill targeting Rx drug abuse
ARLINGTON, Va. — A bipartisan bill that calls for a collaborative, coordinated approach to curbing prescription drug abuse and safeguarding patients is headed to the U.S. House for a vote on Tuesday.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has emphasized its support of this legislation since its introduction, urging lawmakers to pass the bill in the interest of patients.
The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2013 (H.R. 4709) would establish a congressionally mandated report from the Department of Health and Human Services to explore opportunities to better coordinate federal and stakeholder activities in addressing prescription drug abuse and diversion without compromising access to medications for patients who legitimately need them.
Sponsored by Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., Energy and Commerce Committee vice chair Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Rep. Peter Welch, (D-Vt., and Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., and co-sponsored by 10 representatives, the bill’s designated HHS report would be facilitated in consultation with the Drug Enforcement Agency and Office of the National Drug Control Policy, and with input from specific stakeholders, including pharmacy.
“We applaud Reps. Marino and Blackburn for their leadership on this bipartisan bill, and commend the House for bringing the bill to a vote, stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “NACDS and chain pharmacy are committed to partnering with federal and state agencies, law enforcement personnel, policymakers and other stakeholders to work on viable strategies to simultaneously advance patient health and prevent prescription drug abuse. Today’s vote is a step closer to achieving these goals.”
“Looking ahead, we urge the U.S. Senate to move swiftly in passing legislation that will achieve this vital goal," Anderson said.
Survey: 93% of retailers are adopting a unified commerce model
BOSTON — Boston Retail Partners, a retail management consulting firm, released findings from a survey, which offer insights into what retailers are doing to transform their supply chain. The firm's 2014 Supply Chain Benchmark Survey says the "unified commerce" initiative is a result of both multichannel and omnichannel retailing evolving to provide a seamless shopping experience anywhere a customer chooses to shop.
According to the results, customers in today's market have come to expect a consistent brand experience as well as accurate inventory availability and visibility in real time. To meet these expectations, retailers are shifting away from distinct shopping channels and moving toward a more cohesive customer-facing experience.
“We noted an impressive change in priorities over the past year as retailers shift their focus towards enabling the seamless experience today’s customers want,” said Walter Deacon, a principal of Boston Retail Partners. “However, transforming the supply chain to meet the needs of a buy anywhere/anytime customer requires significant resources and investments. Retailers able to deliver real-time retail as part of a compelling value proposition will certainly reap the rewards.”
Key statistics that illustrate the achievements and priorities of retailers in delivering a unified commerce supply chain include:
- Focused on unified commerce: 93% are adopting a unified commerce model with 54% in the planning stages and 39% currently implementing solutions;
- Cross-channel inventory fulfillment: 75% of retailers can fulfill inventory across multiple channels; and
- Corporate initiative: 63% identified “enable seamless customer experience online and in the store” as a top initiative
And while unified commerce is a top priority, BRP noted that there's still more work to be done to achieve it:
- Organizations have silos: 22% of companies indicated that they have merged their channels into a single organization;
- Managing supply chain with spreadsheets: 46% of respondents use static spreadsheets to manage their supply chain planning; and
- Limited cross-channel inventory visibility: 40% provide in-store “available to promise” (ATP) visibility to customers yet only 20% have this same visibility for their internal staff.
“Just as technology has provided continuous connectivity and responsiveness to the consumer, it also provides the tools to create a robust, responsive and information-rich supply chain,” said Ken Morris, a principal of Boston Retail Partners. “With advanced networks and sophisticated software and analytics, the technology is readily available to enable unified commerce. Now is the time to align the people and processes with the technology to make real-time retail a reality!”