Arlington, Va. – Emphasizing the importance of promoting policies that improve patient outcomes and lead to healthier, safer communities, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) submitted a statement to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health in lead-up to today’s hearing titled “Examining Public Health Legislation to Help Patients and Local Communities.”

The hearing examined two NACDS-supported bills: H.R. 471, “The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015,” and the “National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting (NASPER) Authorization Act.”

The statement underscores that NACDS and the chain pharmacies are committed to partnering with federal and state agencies, law enforcement agencies, policymakers, and others to work on viable strategies to prevent prescription drug abuse, such as prescription drug monitoring programs.

In its comments NACDS stated, “

[H.R. 471] would promote a comprehensive approach to preventing prescription drug diversion and abuse by facilitating policies that enable law enforcement entities to serve the public and act to address prescription drug diversion and abuse, while still maintaining patient access to medically necessary medications.”

NACDS also stressed the importance of prescription drug monitoring programs as important tools used to identify and prevent drug abuse, misuse and diversion.

“Recognizing the important role these programs have in helping to prevent drug abuse and diversion, chain pharmacies actively support these programs in the 49 states where they have been implemented,” NACDS stated in its comments.

In reiterating its support for support for legislation that would reauthorize the National All-Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act (NASPER), NACDS stated, “It is not uncommon for patients to cross state borders for healthcare services. To ensure that practitioners have access to robust prescription drug monitoring program data, states should work to establish interoperability with other states’ prescription monitoring programs.”