The Story: Amid extensive media coverage of highly complex issues related to prescription pain medications, on Tuesday, June 9, the Florida Board of Pharmacy convened the Controlled Substances Standards Committee—comprised of pharmacists, doctors, wholesalers and chain pharmacy groups—to hear public comments from patients who said they had a legitimate need for medications and yet encountered difficulties in getting their prescriptions filled.
NACDS emphasized pharmacy’s role in protecting patient safety, pharmacists’ corresponding responsibility and its support for federal legislation…that will combat the problem in a real way…
What did NACDS say?
NACDS Vice President of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs Kevin Nicholson emphasized NACDS’ consistent commitment to seeking comprehensive solutions to the complex issue of ensuring patients have access to medications they legitimately need, while also combating prescription drug abuse.
What’s the solution?
NACDS emphasized pharmacy’s role in protecting patient safety, pharmacists’ corresponding responsibility and its support for federal legislation—the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act—that will combat the problem in a real way by getting federal agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to work together to identify obstacles to legitimate patient access to medications, while preventing the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs.
Until then, what do we do?
NACDS has long been aware of the challenges pharmacists face in their role as the last line of defense against drug abuse, and is working actively on providing chain pharmacies with the most current information on DEA compliance through new, web-based educational tools for pharmacists and others. The resource—“Satisfying DEA Standards When Dispensing Controlled Substances”—is designed to help identify the red flags pharmacists are expected to detect as frontline healthcare providers when filling prescriptions for controlled substances.
The Florida Board of Pharmacy plans to meet again in early August of this year, and NACDS will keep members apprised of all relevant developments.