U.S. Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D., chairman, Subcommittee on Health

Arlington, Va. – As part of ongoing work to serve as part of the solution to the opioid abuse epidemic, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is welcoming yesterday’s passage of the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act by the Health Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.

The NACDS-backed bill (H.R. 3528) would require electronic prescribing for controlled substances, Schedules II through V, to help prevent fraud and abuse.

“NACDS’ policy recommendations to help further address the opioid abuse epidemic were crafted based on pharmacists’ experience on the front lines of healthcare delivery,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “We appreciate the Health Subcommittee’s action on the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, and NACDS will remain highly engaged to help advance this and other important steps to protect the health, wellness and safety of individuals, families and neighborhoods.”

The concept of the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, introduced by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), 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.

Expanding electronic prescribing for controlled substances is among the policy recommendations issued by NACDS to 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.