Arlington, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has endorsed the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act (S. 2460). The bill would help address the opioid-abuse epidemic by requiring that controlled substances for Medicare Part D beneficiaries are prescribed electronically.
U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the bill in the Senate on February 27, with the original cosponsorship of U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA).
“NACDS appreciates the leadership of Senators Bennet, Helller, Warren and Toomey in this important work to help confront the opioid-abuse epidemic,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “Electronic prescribing enhances security and curbs waste, fraud and abuse. This legislation is a vital aspect of a more comprehensive and effective approach to protecting families and communities.”
“This legislation is a vital aspect of a more comprehensive and effective approach to protecting families and communities.”
NACDS – along with nine other associations and companies – sent to Sens. Heller and Bennet a letter expressing support and appreciation for the legislation. The letter detailed the advantages of electronic prescribing of controlled substances, including making prescriptions electronically trackable and unable to be altered or copied. Electronic prescribing of controlled substances helps to prevent “doctor shopping” – the practice of trying to obtain prescriptions from multiple prescribers.
The legislation is consistent with an array of new public policy recommendations announced by NACDS in October 2017, and it is consistent with NACDS’ comments to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. NACDS advocates for recommendations based on pharmacists’ experience on the front lines of healthcare, and based on pharmacy’s longstanding collaboration with law enforcement and health professionals on the complex issue of opioid-abuse prevention.
A national poll conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS in January 2018 found 76 percent of voters support a requirement that all prescriptions must be handled electronically, rather than via paper or fax, as a way to help address the opioid abuse epidemic. Reflecting a strong intensity of opinion, an impressive 45 percent “strongly support” such a requirement – with strong support seen on a bipartisan basis and across political ideologies.
In August 2017, NACDS praised the introduction of the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act (H.R. 3528) in the U.S. House of Representatives. That bill was introduced by U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK).
NACDS has long served as a pioneer and advocate for e-prescribing and for the numerous advantages it presents for patients and for the healthcare delivery system. NACDS and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) partnered to help create the health information network that now operates as Surescripts.