Arlington, Va. – Legislation backed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) to help address the opioid abuse epidemic was passed today by the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill – the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act (H.R. 3528) – would require electronic prescribing for Schedule II through V controlled substances prescriptions covered under Medicare Part D to help prevent fraud, abuse and waste.
“NACDS thanks Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) for their leadership in introducing and working hard for this legislation, and we thank House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) for their dedication to developing and advancing a comprehensive approach to this complex and vital issue,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “Leveraging the benefits of electronic prescribing to help address the opioid abuse epidemic is one of the priority policy recommendations of NACDS, based on the experiences of pharmacists on the front lines of healthcare delivery.”
The concept of the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act maintains strong public support. In a January 2018 national survey conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS, 76 percent supported rules that all prescriptions must be handled electronically, rather than by paper or fax, as a way to help address the opioid abuse epidemic. Of importance, 45 percent support the policy strongly, demonstrating intensity of opinion.
The policy recommendations issued by NACDS complement longstanding and ongoing pharmacy initiatives to prevent opioid abuse, including compliance programs; pioneering e-prescribing; drug disposal; patient education; security initiatives; fostering naloxone access; stopping illegal online drug-sellers and rogue clinics; and more.
The Senate companion legislation of the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act is S. 2460, introduced by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Dean Heller (R-NV), with the original co-sponsorship of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA). A bill would need to be passed in identical form by both chambers prior to its proceeding to President Trump for consideration and signature.